By Martin J. Kidston
The American Cancer Society and strong supporters of the organizations Relay for Life, are planning to hold a rally in Havre this month in support of cancer survivors and victims of the disease.
Operating under the motto Hope, Progress and Awareness, the ACS will be joined by relay supporters Leonard and Doris Zellmer in holding a fund-raiser in Havre later this month.
This Relay for Life is a big fundraiser, ACS Spokesperson Wendy McKamey said from her Great Falls office. The Zellmers are huge Relay for Life supporters and they want to hold the rally in Havre.Taking time off from their regular employment, McKamey said the Zellmers will be traveling in from out of state. She said they hope to achieve a full-blown relay to honor cancer survivors and victims in the Havre area.
McKamey said the Relay for Life is an attempt to raise awareness about cancer and offer hope to those who have it. It encourages early detection and seeks answers, while giving support to those both with and without the disease.
McKamey said that 60 percent of the funds raised from the event will stay in the Havre area. A telecommunications seminar will be established at Northern Montana Hospital using the proceeds. McKamey said that money also goes to purchase prosthetics, including wigs, and nominal grants for pharmaceuticals and transportation. Whats more, it helps provide literature for both doctors and patients, and support programs that reach out to cancer victims and survivors.
According to McKamey, 4,100 people in Montana are diagnosed with new cases of cancer every year.
In Montana, we have an immense number of incidents involving oral cavity cancer due to tobacco chewers. We have more tobacco chewers per capita than any other state, McKamey said. We also have higher incidents of melanoma that most areas.
McKamey said that among men, leading cancers are prostate, lung and bronchus, rectal colon and urinary bladder cancer. Among women, the leading cancers are breast, lung and bronchus, rectal colon and uterine corpus cancer.
The American Cancer Societys Relay for Life will begin on Friday, June 25 at seven p.m. Luminaries will be lit at 11 p.m., honoring those who have survived and succumbed to the disease. Luminaries can be purchased for $10 by contacting the Zellmers at 265-8325. Further questions can be answered by calling the ACS and Wendy McKamey in Great Falls at 406-452-9403.