Opinion

Relay For Life helping to make a difference

Our hats off to those who participated in the Bremerton/Central Kitsap Relay For Life this weekend at Central Kitsap High School.

The weather wasn’t the greatest, but you stuck it out to show your support in the fight against cancer. While the event is typically hosted at Bremerton High School, construction forced it to relocate to Silverdale. This weekend’s Relay walkers made Silverdale proud with 60 teams participating in the two-day event.

“We had a fantastic turn out this weekend even though we got a ‘little’ wet on Sunday,” said event co-chair Tim Roller. “We’re thrilled. A huge number of survivors showed up.”

There’s nothing better than seeing the survivors taking to the track for the first lap. They have experienced what no one in their lifetime should have to endure, but they fought the good fight and were there this weekend to walk the track.

The event’s location at CK High School hits close to home for many here in Silverdale with CK High’s own Debbie Belew-Nyquist currently fighting breast cancer.

Central Kitsap School District staff and students have continued to show their support since she was diagnosed in January. CK High’s color guard team kept the trend going with a special performance in her honor.

An early donation count is currently at $142,000. There may not be a cure for cancer, but every penny will undoubtedly help in the fight against the disease which affects millions of Americans each year.

The money raised at the Bremerton/Central Kitsap Relay For Life, and all Relays across the nation, helps fund cancer research to find better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

The trailblazing cancer research funded by the organization has led to valuable developments such as the link between smoking and lung cancer, and Gleevec, which improves quality of life and stunts cancer growth with fewer side effects, according to the society.

The event’s luminaria ceremony, however, is evidence that great strides still remain in the fight against cancer. Hundreds of luminarias lined the track at Central Kitsap High School, each with a name of someone who lost the battle against cancer. The ceremony is moving, yet a sad reminder of the realities of cancer.

For those who were unable to attend this weekend’s Relay, there is still time to donate. Organizers of the Bremerton/Central Kitsap Relay For Life are accepting donations through August on the Web site www.acsevents.org/relay/wa/BremertonCKRFL.

Your contribution could help save a life, someday it could very well be your own.

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