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Has cancer affected your life?

By Jeanette T. Bean
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Jeanette T. Bean The Ladies of Alpine Lakes Ranch show off the coveted pig awarded to the team who raises the most money for Relay for Life.

Photo courtesy Jeanette T. Bean
The Ladies of Alpine Lakes Ranch show off the coveted pig awarded to the team who raises the most money for Relay for Life.

We never had cancer in our family, but, then, in generations past, our men rarely lived past 55. One day my father got a call from his 70-year-old brother. He said he was terminal with prostate cancer and made my father promise to return to New Jersey for his funeral. Before Dad was able to fulfill that promise, he was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia and died two months later at the young age of 72. I honored my father’s promise and attended my uncle’s funeral for him. Then the women in my family started showing up with cancers … my mother with breast cancer and my first cousin with lung cancer.

This all happened over 30 years ago. Were it today, they all might have survived. The strides made in curing some cancers have come such a long way, and are a result of the many dedicated people who have gotten involved, fostered awareness, and raised funds for research and support. Relay for Life, one of the many programs sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is one of these efforts.

The Archuleta County Relay for Life is still forming teams, acquiring sponsors and receiving donations for participation in this year’s effort, scheduled for June 21 at Pagosa Springs High School’s sports complex.

We are still looking for teams to sign up and raise money. Do you have a group at work, in your neighborhood, or at your church that you can get together? It is truly remarkable how many people just need to be asked to participate. If you don’t have a group to align with, you can join one of those already formed. Everyone is welcome.

The following chairpersons would welcome any help you can give them: Sam Conti, luminaria; Stan Zuege, sponsorship; Inez Winter, accounting; Steve Milton, logistics; Jim and Joanne Haliday, food.

You can volunteer to join their committees by calling the general chairman, Rod Proffitt, at 903-9314 or emailing him at planatlaw@yahoo.com.

All of us have been affected by cancer in some way. We have lost parents, sisters, brothers, relatives, and dear friends. It is up to us to remember them, to celebrate their lives and to fight back against cancer. Please join us in this important fight.

This story was posted on May 8, 2014.