Steele County warriors ready for battle
“Cancer never sleeps,” said Relay for Life of Steele County tri-chair and event MC, Joel Born.
The battle continues to rage and an infamous opponent is still prevalent, but the warriors of this crusade to eradicate cancer march on. Around football fields, through city streets, in an out of hospitals, in care facilities and in their own homes where this darkness has crept in, there is an army that bands together to fight back.
By going to the organization’s website or Facebook page, you can find the following and other information for the upcoming battle.
“Relay for life kicks off July 21 at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend this awesome event. Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature event. It is a life-changing event.
* Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.
* Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.
* Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease.
“Relay For Life offers everyone in our community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. Teams of people camp out at a our local fairgrounds and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to set a fundraising goal and have a representative on the track at all times during the event.The Relay is an overnight event that is 12 hours in length.
“Relay For Life is more than just a fundraiser. It’s a life-changing experience. At Relay, every person in the community has a chance to celebrate, remember, and fight back. And every person who participates joins others around the globe as part of this worldwide movement to end cancer.
“Everyone's reason to Relay is as unique as their own personal story. At Relay, you can find healing, comfort, and support from others who have faced cancer or who have lost a loved one to the disease. You have a chance to meet people in the community who are equally as passionate about finding an end to cancer in our lifetime. You can thank all the people who have done so much to support you through your personal cancer experience. And you can gather together with friends, family, and colleagues to laugh, cry, and create lasting memories.”
“Cancer is just a catchall phrase for dozens of different diseases that have the same endpoint—uncontrolled growth of tissue driven by mutated cells. Each cancer is complex and different, and even within a tissue there are distinct forms or cancer—different kinds of colon, breast, liver and brain cancers, for example, all driven by unique mutations and behaviors,” commented biology chair, Dr. Barrie Bodie Northern Illinois University and continued, “The good news is that the explosion of knowledge, better detection methods and new or improved therapies are resulting in improved longevity and quality of life for cancer patients.
“Doctors are already finding more precise ways to target cancerous tumors for treatment while sparing healthy tissues, meaning fewer side effects. Down the road, I think we’ll be able to further extend lifespans and improve quality of life through these management strategies.”
While the researchers work in teams 24/7/365, there is another part of this army that continues to work to raise both money for research and awareness for this great cause.
A part of that army fights for a cause here in Steele County. “Because cancer never sleeps,” said Born, “we walk all night at Relay For Life.”
Born is one of the organizers for the Steele County events along with being the event chairman.
This year, the big event for fundraising is this coming weekend at the Steele County Fairgrounds where a Relay For Life program will begin at 6 p.m. After an opening program and remarks by Born and his crew, the focus will be turned over to honorary chair member, Kim Reuvers, who is not only a breast cancer survivor, but has been on the RFL committee for years and has traditionally handled all the luminary bags.
“Nothing much will be changing this year from years past,” Born said. “The schedule will remain pretty much the same, but next year, on our 25th anniversary, there will be many changes including a possible change of venue.”
Caregivers. Many times the unsung heroes of the battle. Watching a loved one go through the pain, tending to their needs, keeping all appointments organized, dealing with the insurance and medical billing obstacles, becoming an expert on cancer and cures, fighting financial phantoms, hoping for the best and bracing for the worst.