Editorial: No cure yet, but we fight for everyone

Jun. 13, 2013 @ 05:44 PM

They’ll come by the hundreds this evening and into Saturday.

Their reason to be there will be the same. Cancer hasn’t taken a day off, hasn’t gone to sleep, and it hasn’t been solved for a cure.

Gut wrenching as it may be, cancer is the second-leading killer of Americans, taking 1,600 per day.

So for 24 hours, following an idea that was born in the 1980s, citizens of Henderson and Vance County will come together to wage the fight. We call it Relay for Life, and the idea is a continuous walk that raises awareness, funds for research, and mirrors the daily fight against cancer like that of millions of Americans.

Those gathering at Southern Vance High School will come with different stories. Survivors will be there. The work already done through previous Relays, through previous research efforts, has allowed millions to be treated, to be declared cancer-free, and to continue celebrating birthdays.

Others will be there because they are currently in the fight for their life. They’re coming hoping everyone will show up, or lend a hand in some way. Many will come with a positive attitude, one that impresses those of us who cannot imagine what it is like to hear the doctor say words we wish never to hear.

Still others will come because they love their community. They may or may not know a soul at the event who has cancer, or who has been touched by cancer, but they want the best for their fellow citizens and they’ll come walk a lap, maybe buy a bite to eat or get a cold beverage. The money will go to fight cancer. It doesn’t matter whose team they support. On this night, we’re all on the same team.

Purple will prevail. That’s the Relay color. But it won’t be the only eye-catcher.

Tents will be set up, games will be played and music of all tastes will fill the air. There will be dancing. Decorations will be imaginative, smiles and laughter will be found amid the tears of remembrances, and the battle will wage on against cancer.

For 24 hours, because cancer doesn’t take time off, the Relay won’t either. Something will be going on all night. It is a fight worth fighting.