2013 Relay For Life

Cancer Society turning 100 in May

by Alex McRae

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Newnan Times-Herald File Photo

Cancer survivor Leroy Hill, left, and Bob Riede, the 2012 Relay for Life co-chair in Coweta, light the flame signifying hope at the beginning of last year’s event at the Coweta County Fairgrounds.

Relay For Life events held across the country in 2013 will have special significance since the America Cancer Society is also celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

The local Relay For Life, which takes place on Friday, is one of the best attended and most successful fundraisers in the county. Thanks go in large part to national awareness of the American Cancer Society and its goals and mission.

As part of the 100th anniversary celebration, the America Cancer Society has distributed fact sheets highlighting the organization’s growth and achievements. Some of the information appears here:

“The American Cancer Society will turn 100 years old on May 22, 2013. We will be marking this milestone beginning in early 2013 and will continue to promote it in strategic ways through the end of our 100th birthday in May 2014.

“One hundred years ago, the word ‘cancer’ was rarely spoken, and we lost almost all patients to the disease. Thanks to 15 determined physicians and business leaders who wanted to raise awareness of cancer back in 1913, the American Cancer Society has grown to become the world’s leader in the fight to end the disease. 

“While we believe our 100th birthday is an opportunity to celebrate the progress we’ve made during the last century, it is not a time to rest. Our number one priority is to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem so we never lose another loved one to this disease. 

“One hundred years ago, we began the fight of a lifetime. Now it’s time to finish it. When we say we want to finish the fight, that means we want to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem. There are several key areas that we will focus on to help end cancer:

“Today, 2 out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer are surviving (for at least five years). In fact, more than 400 people a day in the US are celebrating birthdays that would have otherwise been lost to the disease. We’ve contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the US since the early 1990s. That means we’ve helped save nearly 1.2 million lives during that time.

“Our 100th birthday creative campaign centers around the concept that silence won’t finish the fight – action will. Yet the Luminaria Ceremony at our Relay For Life events is a quiet moment to remember those we’ve lost to cancer and honor those still fighting. The Luminaria Ceremony reminds them why finishing the fight is so important to them personally. Additionally, Relay For Life events in general are designed to make noise about the cancer fight in communities everywhere.

“Every dollar donated helps the American Cancer Society save lives in every community by helping people stay well, helping people with cancer get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back against the disease. While the funds raised through our 100th birthday campaign will not be designated or restricted to any particular programs, they will help:

Fight the disease with groundbreaking research.

Provide free information, services, and support to cancer patients and their loved ones 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Provide help to people facing cancer today with services like free rides to and from treatment or a free place to stay when treatment is far from home.

Work with lawmakers to make beating cancer a top priority.”



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