Funds aid fight to eradicate breast cancer

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By Dave Bell

There aren’t many among us who haven’t been impacted by breast cancer.

It is the leading cause of cancer death among women between the ages of 40 and 59, and it is second only to lung cancer in total cancer deaths among women.

This week, we at The Leader-Union are observing national Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a variety of activities.

You may already have noticed that there’s something different about pages 7 and 8 of today’s paper. They’re printed on pink newsprint! And on those pages, several area merchants and individuals have placed ads supporting the effort to eradicate this cruel disease.

Additionally, we have included a story about Peggy Williams, a Vandalia nurse who 17 years ago was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her experience has opened up opportunities for her to share help and hope to other women who are engaged in a similar battle.

We’ll be donating a portion of the proceeds from those pages – and all of the $1 “in-memory-of” and “in-honor-of” messages – to “Passionately Pink for the Cure,” the fund-raising arm of Komen for the Cure. That organization was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker in memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died of breast cancer. The Komen organization has sponsored thousands of road races and other activities, raising $1.3 BILLION for breast cancer research and education during the past quarter of a century.

That research, combined with enhanced screening practices, have had a marked impact on the fight against breast cancer. Today, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer, when caught early, is 98 percent. In 1982, the survival rate is was only 74 percent. That’s good news!

And finally, the staff at The Leader-Union on Wednesday sponsored a bake sale for our customers, with all the proceeds going to breast cancer research.

We thank those who participated with us in this fund-raising and awareness-raising effort. We trust that there will be women who survive this disease because of the generosity of our local people and businesses.