As the seasons change and as the holidays pass by, it’s easy to miss those loved ones who are no longer with us. If you’re facing a health crisis, it’s easy for you and your family to tone down or skip those celebrations and annual events as you concentrate on getting well.
This year, the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Cullman County wants to offer “A Cure for Every Season” as the theme of its 2016 event to encourage area residents to support the fight to allow more celebrations, more ballgames, more festivals, more holidays and more birthdays for everyone.
“I know with each holiday that passes, I still miss the family members I’ve lost to cancer,” said Helen Allen, a longtime volunteer with Relay For Life of Cullman County. “I also appreciate the loved ones I still have around me, and it’s for them that I’ve volunteered for more than 20 years with Relay For Life to support the American Cancer Society’s research efforts.
“The American Cancer Society has funded research for more than 65 years, finding answers that have saved the lives of my own family and friends as well as people all over the world,” Allen added. “In fact, no other single, nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization in the United States has invested more to find the causes and cures of cancer.”
Allen said she takes comfort in the fact that when researchers funded by the ACS find new treatments or cures for cancer, those findings will be shared the world over so that she and her family and friends will benefit from those findings.
“We’re blessed in Cullman County to have many churches and organizations that can provide assistance to families in need,” Allen said. “But if we don’t also support the research that will help find better treatments, more preventative measures, early detection and, I pray, a cure for cancer all of those organizations could be swamped with even more people in need.”
Along with research, the ACS does provide services to cancer patients and their families. Through its website and toll free service, people have 24/7 access to support, information and resources. Through programs like Reach to Recover, Road to Recovery, TLC (Hair and Mastectomy Products) and Look Good Feel Better, cancer patients have access to support and services. Through its Hope Lodges and Hotel Partners Programs, it offers accommodations for free or greatly reduced rates in many cities where patients are taking treatments.
“Our goal as Relay For Life volunteers is to provide the funds for the ACS to continue to provides these services for those who need them and fund the research that will help us all,” Allen said.
Relay For Life of Cullman County is currently signing up teams for the 2016 fundraising season. Any group (church, school, family, etc.), business, industry, or individual is welcome. Teams, volunteers and cancer survivors can sign up at www.relayforlife.org/cullmanal. Contact Allen at (256) 709-4019 or email@example.com for assistance or for any questions about Relay For Life.
A Kickoff Rally will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in the Fellowship Hall at First Baptist Church of Cullman. Relay For Life of Cullman County will be held 6 p.m.-midnight, Friday, May 6, 2016, at Cullman County Fairgrounds.