First and foremost, it is a huge fundraiser in the fight continuing against cancer. Along with the money brought in, the Relay for Life both creates awareness in the general public about the ravages of cancer and reinforces the resolve in cancer victims and their families.
Most people in the Imperial Valley have been hit by cancer, whether they dealt with it themselves or whether a family member or friend did. While statistics don’t indicate the cancer rate in our county is among the highest in California, those of us who live here know it is a particularly vicious plague.
No matter how it gets its foothold, whether it can be influenced by the sun, the dust, the pollution or the farm chemicals, or a combination of the aforementioned, cancer wreaks havoc in Imperial County and does as much or more damage across the border in Mexicali.
The Imperial Valley recently finished a series of Relay for Life events in various Valley cities. Countless people and teams participated to raise money for cancer research and treatment and to remember those lost to the fight with cancer and those continuing to battle the disease.
Events such as the Relay for Life also allow us to think about how we can work to avoid the scourge of cancer. Exercising more, eating better, not smoking, not drinking to excess and using sun block all can play parts in prevention, but even those who take all the precautions and make the requisite lifestyle changes sometimes still get struck by cancer. That is how invasive and prevalent cancer is.
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And that is why Relay for Life and other such events are important, so that we remain ever vigilant in our fight against it, ever supportive of those suffering for it and forever remembering those who ultimately lost the war with it.