By Clyde Davis
Perhaps you have not noticed the purple and white signs and emblems popping up all over town. The tasks and distractions of daily life can pull our attention away from the things that are just a part of our environment, and it isn’t always easy to pay attention to them. On the other hand, perhaps you have noticed them but not been able to connect them with anything that affected you. We are, to be sure, overloaded with stimuli, and we can’t respond to everything.
Amanda probably noticed the purple and white signs. She knows very well what they mean, and responds to their message with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Relay For Life is coming soon, and for Amanda that means it is time to go about soliciting donations. Last year, my stepdaughter collected over 600 dollars by going door to door in ours and surrounding neighborhoods.
Relay For Life is, of course, the American Cancer Society’s community fundraising event which takes place every spring. You can sign up to walk for pledges, you can pledge someone else, or you can simply donate and attend the event. The proceeds go to benefit the ACS programs that deal with cancer issues.
There are screenings. These are important because we know that early detection is central to early cure, and that today many forms of cancer are easily treated if detected early. So you can get information on screenings, and in some cases the materials for the screening itself, by going to the Relay For Life.
There are teams to join. We got our paperwork in early to join the News Journal Team, because Amanda wanted to get started on her collecting. Most of the banks have a team. The new cancer center, appropriately enough, has a team. The library usually has a team.The place where you work may have a team and of course, there are plenty of private teams.
If you’re a horseperson, there is the Ride For Life as part of the event. Unfortunately for some of us, who would love to do that, you have to have your own horse. Hey, is there a riding stable out there willing to donate some horses for a couple days to us cowboy wannabes who don’t own one? I promise I’ll treat him well. …
There are wonderful booths and games and food, which often are parts of the fundraising for the groups that run them. Anytime you serve up goodies at a reasonable price, you can usually get folks to support you.
Most of all, there is the opportunity to be a part of something very worthwhile. Stats tell us that one in three Americans will battle cancer at some point. Stats also tell us that we are approaching a 70 percent cure rate. Don’t take those figures to the bank, but my point is that all of us will face it in ourselves or a loved one, and that the battle is being won.
It was just something I did for someone else, until 2001. It was like giving blood, something I had done for years so I could feel like I was contributing. Then came the 2002 walk, which I walked in skinny and bald, because I had been through the battle myself. It made Desert Storm look like a church social. …
By the way, there is a lot of good reading on cancer out there, everything from Lance Armstrong’s “Not About The Bike” to some diet and nutrition books for patients, survivors, and prevention.
Of course, the local ACS is in the phone book. So quit thinkin’ about it, buddy. Get out there and do it. Make Amanda proud.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at