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Relay for Life is more than funds -- it's a support system

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To the editor:

"Party Like It's 2012" is the theme for the 2012 Relay for Life in Logan County, and for survivors that is a cause for celebrating -- they can claim "one more birthday!"

Those who have experienced the fright of hearing "you have cancer" from their doctor are now turning that into a fight for getting to celebrate one more birthday, and many have just been given that call to fight as recently as this month.

Because of the support of the Relay for Life teams through the American Cancer Society and the supporters in Logan County, we are an ever-present support system all year. Rides are provided to treatments or other appointments; there are donations of hairpieces, wigs and medications; and always the listening ear for the lonely phone call, or a hug or pat on the shoulder.

On this occasion, a survivor shirt and pin that symbolizes one more year a winner is also a plus. All this is supported with your donations to Logan County (donations made to the national are not available for the county work, but go for national program and research 70-plus percent -- even then only 7 cents goes to overhead and 20-plus percent goes to fund Relays and other awareness programs).

The Relay is a time when celebration and a true awareness of the progress that has been made is evident as survivors walk the first lap -- some with help, some very tediously, some vibrant with new life and some in remission -- a real cause to celebrate! And then others join in support until 6 early the next morning -- walkers on the track all night, 12 hours.

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At 9, when the luminaria are lit in total silence, the track is full again in the glow of the light in each bag, signifying and remembering with each step the life of one who is celebrating another year, another birthday, but also remembering the fight given by those whose names are lit in memory -- and we remember so many of all ages, in family, friends, neighbors or co-workers who have touched our lives. (Luminia are $10 and can be bought until 9 Friday night at the Relay.)

You are invited to join this celebration -- beginning 6 p.m. Friday, June 15, through 6 a.m. Saturday, June 16, in the Lincoln Center at Lincoln College in Lincoln -- and help our survivors celebrate one more birthday and provide funds for more research and cures so this disease can be eliminated.

I invite you to keep them in your prayers and each day join me as I give thanks that I/you have not heard those frightful words -- "you have cancer." Come to the Relay party!

Esther Boward and Tonita Reifsteck; co-survivor chairs

[Posted June 14, 2012]

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