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Viewpoint: Too many dying from cancer

You may have seen stories in the paper and posters in the community and wondered, "What is Relay for Life?"

The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life offers everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer.

Each team has one team member walking around a track during this 12-hour event and these community teams, from all walks of life, have fun while raising much-needed funds to help fight cancer and raise awareness of cancer prevention and treatment.  Relay is a support network of people coming together for a common cause.

I got involved, for a more personal reason, because my husband is a survivor. I continue to be involved because I lost an uncle to cancer.

 I don't think there is anyone that hasn't been touched by cancer in some way.  This is where Relay becomes important. Relay is a chance for us to celebrate our survivors. I take great pride in seeing my husband, and the sea of purple shirts take their "survivors' lap." We also have the opportunity to remember loved ones we have lost. The relay gives many people an opportunity to grieve and find support from others who care. Lighting a luminaria and remembering those lost is an incredibly moving ceremony. Perhaps fighting back is so important because it gives us hope. I don't want to quietly stand aside while I listen to story after story about this horrible disease.

This is how I fight back against cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, half of all men, and one-third of all women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime and one in four people will die from cancer. These are statistics that are too high for me. You may be one of the lucky few that hasn't been personally or deeply touched by cancer.

Unfortunately, statistics say that you will be. Join us in supporting the American Cancer Society and fight back now.

The Relay for Life of the Cottage Grove Area will kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 10 at Kingston Park, in Cottage Grove.

For more information, visit our Web site, e-mail or call Schutz at (651) 503-3047.

Alesha Schutz is co-organizer of the Relay for Life of the Cottage Grove Area.