No "cancer walls" please |

No "cancer walls" please

I appreciated the Aug. 20 letter regarding the ACS Relay For Life. I am a cancer survivor, and I agree that we have many wonderful, local organizations that assist us when battling cancer. But I disagree that the money raised at Relay For Life “does not stay in our community.” All ACS services are available here. And while research is done outside Nevada County, ALL RESULTS are brought here for use in treating our county residents. If we build a wall around our county and don’t allow money we raise to pass outside, that same wall should rightfully stop new information and treatments from entering our county. Isn’t that how a wall works? If we don’t participate in the worldwide effort to fight cancer, how can we expect to benefit from the progress?

The cry I’ve heard to “keep donations local” implies others would/should do the same. Such a scenario raises many questions. Much of the $209,000 our Relay collected this year came from out-of-county donators. Would we get to keep that money? Would out-of-county donators continue to donate to us or would they keep their donations local? Would cancer patients be allowed to see specialists outside the area or would we be turned away and told to see someone in our own county? Would Nevada County physicians have access to new treatments developed outside the county?

In fighting this life-threatening illness, walling ourselves off from the progressive work being done throughout the world would not benefit our residents. We should proudly contribute to the worldwide search for solutions because it is going to take every expert on this planet to find the cures we hope for.

I am sorry if local organizations are “struggling to support local cancer patients.” We should support them, too, and right now would be a great time to donate and volunteer at the Cancer Center, Cancer Aid Thrift Store and Hospice. But readers, come spring 2003, start saving money for the worldwide fight against cancer and join us May 31 to June 1 for Relay For Life.

Erin Miller

Relay For Life chairperson

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