Fight back against cancer

A great opportunity is coming to the residents of Adams County. The 2014 American Cancer Society Relay For Life kicks off another year of raising money to fight cancer right here in your hometown.
Anyone who has spent a night participating in an American Cancer Society Relay For Life knows how tiring — yet fulfilling — the event can be.

The idea is simple. Registered teams and participants raise money and take donations. Then they walk — for six hours straight. This long-term dedication and commitment is a good example of neighbors helping neighbors in this worldwide fight against a disease that will strike one out of three people in your community.

 If we are not individually diagnosed with the disease, we all can name a co-worker, friend, sibling, an aunt or uncle, or even a parent who had cancer.

Cancer knows no race, economic background or geography. It can affect us all. Some lose the fight and we mourn the loss of family members and friends. Others, like me, win the fight and have a new appreciation for the little gifts life gives us each day.

I am a breast cancer survivor because of research conducted by the American Cancer Society that proved lumpectomy with radiation treatments was equivalent to mastectomy.

I also benefited from two local ACS volunteers with the Reach for Recovery program. As breast cancer survivors, they helped me through a difficult and emotional time.

Since my diagnosis, I often contact newly diagnosed patients and encourage them to take advantage of American Cancer Society services.

Several received gas cards to help with transportation expenses to treatment. Some sported a wig after chemotherapy took all of their own hair. Others visited the web site ( or called the toll free number (1-800-ACS-2345) for more information, help or counseling.

Relay For Life fundraising in your hometown helps the American Cancer Society provide these and many other services to your neighbors, friends and family.

And, thankfully, the number of people participating and raising money for cancer research and programs to help cancer patients is growing in Adams County. When it comes to giving to worthwhile causes, there seems to be few limits.

So to all those who have walked or generously given money to walkers, we offer congratulations on personally making a difference in the fight against cancer. To those of you who have not participated in the past, take a chance, take a stand and fight back against a disease that takes too much.

When you donate your time or your money to Relay For Life events, you are saving lives by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back. The life you save could be your own.

Pam Ackerman, Relay For Life volunteer

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