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All for a cure
Kathy Gallaher sat patiently as Lew Roberts drew a small amount of blood from her arm.
The Poulsbo woman was one of many people who recently decided to devote the next 20 years of their life to cancer research.
“My mother and father both died of cancer and so did a sister,” Gallaher said. “I also just lost a cousin this spring and if it helps, why not?”
The American Cancer Society’s Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research invited people ages 30-65 with no personal history of cancer to participate in Cancer Prevention Study-3 at the Bremerton and Central Kitsap Relay for Life Saturday, June 27. The Bremerton and Central Kitsap Relay for Life was the only event in the county to feature the study.
Bremerton Relay for Life Co-chair Tim Roller said the American Cancer Society last completed a cancer prevention study about 40 years ago and that study linked smoking to cancer.
“They’re doing this across the nation. It’s the largest study they’ve done on cancer in recent years,” Gallaher said.
CPS-3 is meant “to better understand the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and to ultimately eliminate cancer as a major health problem,” according to the American Cancer Society Web site, and Gallaher said if this long-term study helps find a cure, she’s all for it.
Patti Peterson, of Port Orchard, is a Relay for Life committee member and has lost three immediate family members to cancer, so she knew she wanted to participate in CPS-3.
“I feel it’s very important to contribute what we can,” she said.
Although Gallaher also lost family members to cancer, she wasn’t immediately sold on CPS-3.
“I went out to the (CPS-3) Web site and looked at the video and that’s what helped me,” she said. “I’d been toying with it and that’s what convinced me to do it.”
CPS-3 participants completed lifestyle questionnaires and submitted blood samples Saturday at the Bremerton and Central Kitsap Relay for Life in Silverdale. Participants will receive a new questionnaire in the mail every two years for at least the next 20 years.
Gallaher said the questionnaire should only take 30-45 minutes to complete.