It’s all about the cash

Published 9:28 pm Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In Wednesday’s paper, we announced the Suffolk News-Herald’s fundraiser for the Relay for Life: for every Facebook fan, we will donate a dime.

Before the fundraiser was publicly announced on Wednesday morning, the page had 526 fans.

As of 6:54 p.m. on Wednesday, the fan base expanded to 665.

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For the past 10 weeks, I’ve interviewed 10 different individuals who have either cared for those with cancer, survived cancer or — in some cases — done both.

They’ve ranged from girls my age to mothers with children to wives to sisters to a 10-year-old girl.

Having a grandmother who passed away from cancer when I was 14 years old, I was never too aware of its presence in the lives of my friends and family. But since beginning my 20-week series, I have become increasingly aware of how prevalent this vicious disease is.

Cancer does not discriminate.

It doesn’t care who you are, what you do, what you’ve done, how old you are, what other problems you might have, if you have the emotional constitution to weather the battle or even if you have the money for treatment.

Those who survive consider themselves blessed to have escaped its grips, but the wake cancer leaves in its path is still marked.

Tammy Minckler, a mother whose son had three separate cancers by the time he was 7 years old, aptly said that while cancer is huge, the treatment has to be even bigger.

While each volunteer organization is legitimate and much needed in any community, I’ve yet to be confronted with realities so devastating and a need so widespread as the one the Relay for Life is fighting.

One Friday, just a few weeks back, stands out to me. I did an interview with a young, homeschooling mother and Navy wife, who had been diagnosed last year and whose cancer was in remission. I was also assigned an article to preview an upcoming fundraiser — separate from the Relay — for a boy who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 3 years old. And while I was out, taking a break from cancer, I had a conversation with a man who shared with me about his battle with cancer.

I don’t think I’m more surrounded by cancer than I ever was before — I think I’m more aware of it.

The more I’m aware of it, however, the more I am convinced that a cure must be found. And while there are many things that cold, hard cash can’t fix, this is one thing that it can.

Our Facebook fundraiser isn’t about the fans. It’s about the cash.

Join us — and the 15 fans who became our fan since I began writing this column — in our fight against cancer.

Just search Suffolk News-Herald on Facebook and become a fan.

Saving a life has never been so easy.