Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lights of Hope

Yesterday evening my wife and I drove to Little Rock to attend the 3rd Annual Lights of Hope held on the Capitol steps to urge Arkansas' Legislature to make cancer a priority.  It was a beautiful day with perfect temperatures for the event.  The event was hosted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

ACS CAN is the nation’s leading cancer advocacy organization that is working every day to make cancer issues a national priority.  Many of the most important decisions about cancer are made outside of your doctor’s office. Instead, they are made by your state legislature, in Congress and in the White House.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, is holding lawmakers accountable for their words and their actions. They ask that our leaders not only talk about fighting cancer but take real steps toward decreasing the number of people suffering and dying from cancer.

My wife was the keynote speaker at the Lights of Hope event.  She is an American Cancer Society Hero of Hope.  In her speech she told the story of her mothers struggle with cancer.  Even though her mother's cancer was terminal, she agreed to be a part of a bone marrow study that was funded by the American Cancer Society.  My wife and her family tried to talk her out of it knowing how painful it would be, but she said, "you never know who you might help".  She lost her battle with cancer in 1976.  20 years later a bone marrow transplant, made possible by that research from 1976, saved my wife's sister's life.  During this past year my wife's cousin was diagnosed with Leukemia and was told that without a bone marrow transplant his life expectancy was just three months.  After a successful bone marrow transplant his cancer is now in remission.  My wife's mother was willing to take part in research because it might help a complete stranger not knowing that it would end up saving the lives of family that she loved.  Research that is being conducted today will save many lives in the future.

You can see her speech from the Lights of Hope event here.

 Luminaria lined the walkway to the Capital. We walked along the walkway and found the luminaria for my wife's mother and sister. Seeing the luminaria there reminded us of why we are involved in the fight against cancer.

Luminaria 3
Cancer seems to touch everyone. We all have family members or friends who have battled cancer. Some have won and some have lost, but because of the efforts of so many volunteers there are more winners every year. That is why I am so proud of my wife's involvement with the American Cancer Society, and why I am involved. 1 out of every 100 Americans participates in the American Cancer Society's premier event, Relay For Life. If you are not one of them won't you consider becoming involved. Click on the link below to find a Relay For Life event in your area. There are more that 5,000 Relay's across the USA. Find a Relay For Life in your area.

 Lights of Hope Lights of Hope 3 Luminaria 2

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