Sunday, May 15, 2011

One Person Can Make A Difference

One person can make a difference. Nowhere is that more evident than with the story of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, which began in Tacoma, Washington. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office and to show support for all of his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed – running marathons.

In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He ran for more than 83 miles. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. Throughout the night, friends donated $25 to run or walk with Dr. Klatt for 30 minutes. His efforts raised $27,000 to fight cancer.

While circling the track those 24 hours, Dr. Klatt thought about how others could take part in his mission to fight cancer. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Over the next few months, he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event, known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

In 1986, with the help of Pat Flynn – now known as the “Mother of Relay” – 19 teams took part in the first team Relay event on the track at the historic Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield.


Relay has developed into an overnight event where people bring tents and sleep out around the tracks. People of all ages come out to bring the community together to Celebrate those who have survived cancer, Remember those who cancer has taken from us and Fight Back by raising money to fight for a cure. Now, over 4 million people take part in Relay events in over 5,000 communities in the United States.

Just like Gordy Klatt, each person involved with the Polk County Relay For Life makes a difference in the fight against cancer. Since 2007 when the first Relay For Life event was held in Polk County well over a quarter of a million dollars has been raised to help fight cancer. You can make a difference by attending the Relay For Life event to be held May 20th at Janssen Park starting at 6:00 P.M.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hope Has No Curfew


Cancer Doesn’t Sleep and Neither Will We

Sometimes people wonder why we Relay all night long and stay overnight.

The Relay For Life event symbolizes the journey of a cancer survivor.

RELAY FOR LIFE starts at dusk and ends the next morning. The light and darkness of the day and night parallel the physical effects, emotion, and mental state of a cancer patient while undergoing treatment.

Talimena Sunset 2

Often times RELAY begins when the sun is setting, symbolizing the time a person has been diagnosed with cancer. Immediately there is a lot of support. People rally to lend a helping hand, much like the Opening Ceremony at Relay when everyone cheers that first lap for Survivors.

As Survivors start their cancer treatment, it’s hard and taxing, just like when the light of day fades into darkness. As midnight comes, teams continue to walk the track, but it gets harder as the walking continues into the 6th and 7th hour and the night gets colder.


This time represents when a cancer patient becomes exhausted, sick, maybe not wanting to go on, possibly wanting to give up. As a Relay participant, you have been walking and feel much the same way. You are tired, want to sleep, you may even want to go home, but YOU CANNOT STOP or give up.

Around 4:00 to 5:00am symbolizes the coming of the end of treatment for the cancer patient. Things are beginning to look brighter, just like the break of dawn. A sense of HOPE emerges. The morning light brings on a new day full of life and new beginnings.

Luminaria at Janssen Park

For the walkers who are making laps around the track, when the sun begins to peak, there is a strong sense of HOPE that they too can make it through.

As we make the final lap…… as a cancer survivor gets the final clearance from their doctor, we celebrate and we cross the finish line together.

Lenora and Rebekah

It wasn’t easy -- It took a team……. It took commitment……. It took Hope.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Healthy Diet To Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Has it ever occurred to you that there could be a connection between breast cancer and your diet? Some researchers say that there are two key things in preventing cancer- estrogen regulation and immunity boosting. Dr. Kristi Funk, MD, says that while a genetic change is the root of all breast cancer, breast cancer is fed and fueled by estrogen. Dr Funk believes that if we can decrease estrogen in our bodies, we can remove some of that fuel that makes cancer cells multiply and divide. How do you do that? Here are 7 things, directly from a blog that Dr. Funk wrote, that help suppress estrogen.

1. Three cups of green tea a day can help prevent breast cancer because of its high EGCG antioxidant content. Squeeze a little lemon into your cup and increase the antioxidant power of your tea.

2. Garlic is a good immunity booster that also has anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Olive oil and flaxseed oil contain monounsaturated fat, which can help suppress breast cancer.

4. Turmeric helps decrease estrogen. As little as one teaspoon a day has been shown to reduce tumor growth. Get your daily dose by mixing it into salad dressings, rice or vegetable dishes.

5. Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, bok choy and Swiss chard bind estrogen in your GI tract and reduce tumor stimulation. They also detoxify the liver, which helps reduce the toxins flowing through your body that can irritate cells and turn them into early cancers.

6. Seaweed/Kelp are high in iodine, this is another estrogen reducer.

7. A daily supplement of Vitamin D (2000 IU) can prevent tumor metastasis, reduce cancer cells and aid estrogen inhibitors. Calcium-rich foods, such as sardines, salmon, milk and cheese are also highly recommended. Or, 15-20 minutes of sunshine every day can help you in getting your daily dose of Vitamin D.

With or without cancer, clearly it’s best to eat a diet that’s as healthy as possible loaded with lots of vegetables.