2014 Relay For Life of Ballard County kickoff Brunch
La Center – Eric Walker, Relay For Life Specialist, said, “We don’t win every battle unfortunately.” Walker was discussing the cancer survival rate. Walker said that two out of three people are surviving the five year mark. Walker was one of the guest speakers at the 2014 Relay For Life of Ballard County kickoff Brunch held at the First Baptist Church of La Center on Saturday, January 10, 2014.
Walker informed the attendees that Ballard County raised over $63,000 last year. Walker continued by educating the attendees as to where the dollars go that are raised each year. The main goal of Relay For Life is to raise awareness of cancer and cancer prevention. This is done by educating society about the importance of early detection. Another goal is to celebrate cancer survivors and remember the individuals who have succumbed to cancer.
Walker went on by saying that some of the monies are used to help implement cancer networks and support systems. Road to Recovery is a program that helps cancer patients get to and from their appointments by having volunteers donate their time and vehicles. Walker also said that monies are used to help support Hope Lodges. Hope Lodges are located in Nashville, Lexington, Memphis, and St. Louis. Cancer patients can stay for free when having to travel to these larger cities for appointments. Last but not least, Relay dollars are used to fund research to help find cures for cancer.
Kathe Aydlotte introduced the guest speaker, Pastor Anthony Schaeffer. He pastors both the Barlow and Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church. Schaeffer has personal ties to cancer. In August 2011, Schaeffer lost his brother to pancreatic cancer. According to Schaeffer, doctors fear pancreatic cancer the most. Schaeffer continued by saying that pancreatic cancer has a 5% survival rate. This survival rate has been the same since Richard Nixon declared war on it 40 years ago. Schaeffer said, “Together we are working for a goal that is much bigger than ourselves.” Per Schaeffer, pancreatic cancer does not show any signs until stage four. Stage four is the last stage said Schaeffer. Schaeffer is affiliated with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PCAN). In 2012, Schaeffer continued, the PCAN got a bi-partisan bill passed through Congress.
The next Relay For Life meeting will be held on Monday, January 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm for committee members and 6:00 pm for team captains at the Ballard County Extension Office in La Center.