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Celebrate an anniversary at the Relay for Life

By Jan Nicholl
Special to The PREVIEW

A milestone of 100 years is something to celebrate.

If we knew a person celebrating their 100th birthday, we would consider that a reason to celebrate. If we knew a couple celebrating their 100th wedding anniversary, that would truly be reason to celebrate.

How about an organization that has worked to save lives for the past 100 years?

This year, the American Cancer Society (ACS) will celebrate 100 years of dedication to one cause: cancer.

During the 1970s, about one of 2, or 50 percent, of people diagnosed with cancer survived at least five years. Now, more than two of three, or 66.7 percent, survive that long. Today, there are more than 11 million cancer survivors in the United States alone. Part of that success can be attributed to the American Cancer Society and its contribution to ongoing research, education for prevention and detection, and a wealth of factual, readily-available information. In addition, programs and services for cancer patients and their families are offered to help support during and after a cancer diagnoses, the treatment and the aftermath.

I am a two-year breast cancer survivor diagnosed just three weeks before our planned move to Pagosa Springs in October of 2010. Our house was sold, 90 percent of our belongings were packed and then the bomb dropped.

I started chemo on Dec. 10, 2010. A few weeks later, at a time when my life was spinning out of control and my husband and I were feeling such uncertainty, I received a call from an ACS volunteer. She was very kind, compassionate and patient. She wanted us to know about information and about resources made possible through ACS. She let us know about a service ACS offered that reimbursed us for gasoline to and from my appointments and treatments, 120 miles round trip. I was shocked. She made us feel like we were not alone. This offer and gesture of kindness somehow brought us comfort.

On June 21, Pagosa Springs will hold the annual ACS Relay for Life, a multifaceted event. If you haven’t ever seen the Relay or been involved in the event, do it this year!

Everyone has a niche at the Relay. Start or join a team to walk in the fund-raising event. Volunteer to help assist in the success of the Relay, so much to do and many hands make light work. The environment is uplifting and family oriented. So, mark your calendar. Just contact me or the chair and co-chair volunteers and prepare to enjoy a “feel good” event to remember.

Let’s help Pagosa Springs celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Cancer Society, in style.

For more information, contact Susan Williams at 247-1667 or susan.williams@cancer.org, or Rod Profitt at 903-9314 or planatlaw@gmail.com,

To check out the Relay for yourself, go to www.archuletarelay.org.

To explore the American Cancer Society, go to the, website www.cancer.org, or call them at (800) 227-2345.

This story was posted on March 28, 2013.