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Be part of the fight against cancer

My brothers and I thought our dad was an alien long before there was a car commercial where the little girl states the same.

Our dad was a farmer and each summer when he would apply chemicals to the wheat, barley or beans, he would put on a mask to go over his nose, goggles to cover his eyes and elbow-length, thick gloves.

My dad has poor circulation, so he is always cold. We rarely saw him wear short sleeves in the summer and he always wore a T-shirt and long sleeves when he did the spraying. He always told my brothers and me to stay away from it and not to come around him when he was working with that stuff.

We thought he looked like an alien, but he was just way ahead of his time. Many of the farmers my dad’s age are gone now and most of them died from cancer. They didn’t take the precautions like my dad did and, unfortunately, they are not able to spend time with their grandchildren.

Our dad may have looked goofy, but his preventative foresight about dealing with the chemicals correctly has so far spared him from dealing with cancer.

That is how I look at the Relay For Life — it is a preventative measure that we can do in the fight against cancer by supporting the American Cancer Society (ACS) in utilizing the donations to:

• Invest in groundbreaking research in every type of cancer.

• Provide free information to cancer patients and caregivers.

• Provide the free services to cancer patients and caregivers.

The Relay For Life is an overnight fundraising event for the ACS that began with one man, Dr. Gordy Klatt from Tacoma, Wash., who wanted to do more for his local ACS. Dr. Klatt ran/walked for 24 hours, logging 83 miles in the spring of 1985 and raising $27,000.

Now, each year more than $400 million is raised in more than 5,200 communities covering 20 countries. The ACS celebrates 100 years of being in the fight against cancer and its motto is, “Together We Can Finish The Fight.”

Do you want to be part of the fight? Do you have a loved one or good friend who has been in this battle? The current statistic is that one out of three women and one out of every two men will face cancer in their lifetime. Do you want to be part of the solution to change that?

I do. I have had many friends, starting with my 16-year-old classmate, die from this disease. I want to do something now, so my children and nieces and nephews may not ever have to hear the words, “You have cancer.”

Teams for the Relay For Life can consist of friends, family or co-workers with each team member raising $100 through the sale of luminaries. Each team has a campsite and the opportunity to offer games, food or activities on the day of the event for the community and other relay participants.

The Opening Ceremony honoring our cancer survivors begins at 7 p.m. and we light all the luminaries at dusk. The event this year is Friday, June 20, at the Pine River-Backus High School track and field.

The first team captain/planning meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at The Warehouse in Pine River.

Please contact Tina Grewe at 568-6084 if you would like to have a team and are unable to attend the first meeting.

Please join us in the fight against cancer, because “Together We CAN Finish the Fight!”

(Tina Grew is chair of the Pine River-Backus Area Relay For Life and is a 20-year volunteer with the American Cancer Society.)

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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