Cancer. It’s a very scary word! And every family seems to be affected by cancer. My mother-in-law and father-in-law both died of cancer. My mother is a cancer survivor. And right now I personally know of five people who are fighting cancer. Here are a few facts about cancer from the American Cancer Society:
- The American Cancer Society estimated in 2008 that about 170,000 cancer deaths would be caused by tobacco use.
- Scientific evidence suggests that about one-third of the 565,650 cancer deaths that were expected to occur in 2008 would be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and nutrition and thus could also be prevented.
- Certain cancers are related to infectious agents, such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and others, and could be prevented through behavioral changes, vaccines, or antibiotics.
- Many of the more than 1 million skin cancers that were expected to be diagnosed in 2008 could have been prevented by protection from the sun’s rays and avoiding indoor tanning.
- Screening can prevent cancers of the cervix, colon, and rectum by allowing removal of precancerous tissue before it becomes malignant and detect cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, oral cavity, and skin at early stages reducing mortality.
- Cancers that can be prevented or detected earlier by screening account for at least half of all new cancer cases.
On Monday, May 4th I will be one of many vendors at the Shop for a Cure event raising funds for the American Cancer Society. Shop for a Cure is organized by cancer survivor Michele Witkowski. I recently interviewed Michele about this event and share her answers here.
What inspired you to start Shop for the Cure?
I am a representative for Premier Designs Jewelry (5 years) and I have always done fundraiser shows around the time of my “cancer free” celebration month. I thought this would be great to do it on a greater scale – much more impact this way!
Tell us a bit about your own fight against cancer?
I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January 2002 – approximately 6 weeks after my daughter was born. My son was 18 months at the time. I went through 9 months of treatment and I am now cancer free for almost 7 years!
What encouragement would you give to someone who is just beginning their fight against cancer?
Cancer will do more to mess with your head than it ever will your body. Find your encouragers keep your faith and feel the love – I have been blessed with all of that. I have guided many people through their treatment during the past 5 years. It is very nice to see a person standing in front of you that has made it through the same things that you are about to face. I know that would have made a huge difference with me. I always tell people that you are now a part of a club that you never wanted membership to – however – because you are – you will never, ever be the same. I have always felt that it is so important to give back when you can. I have been blessed and I know that – so it is important to pay that forward.
As a friend, spouse, or family member what is the best way to support someone who is dealing with cancer?
Just listen. This is a tough question to answer because each person handles treatment differently. I had 2 very little ones during my fight. I had an incredible group of family and friends that were beyond amazing during treatment.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I always donate 20% of all of May shows to the American Cancer Society – so make sure you stop by and meet me at the event. I have awesome specials – but beyond that – I want to thank each and every person for taking time out of their day to come “Shop for a Cure” – one sale at a time…..
Shop for a Cure
Monday, May 4, 2009, 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Walden Country Club
18100 Walden Forest