One in two men and one in three women will face a cancer diagnosis in his or her lifetime. Statistics show each one of us is likely to be impacted by the disease at some pointpossibly through a friend or loved one's diagnosis or a personal battle. Thanks to continually improving treatment options, there are nearly 14 million cancer survivors alive today celebrating many more birthdays.
The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life hosts a special ceremony to recognize both those lost to the disease and those who represent hope for the future - our cancer survivors. After the day has ended and darkness falls, hundreds of candles illuminate the path during the Relay For Life of Alpena County's Luminaria Ceremony.
Each luminaria bears the name of someone who has battled cancer. For those taken from us, this is the time we find comfort in realizing that no one who we have truly loved is ever lost. By placing their names on the luminaria bags we memorialize the love for them that we continue to carry in our hearts.
For those who have defeated the disease, there is no truer symbol of the American Cancer Society's mission than the cancer survivor. Their spirit and hope, their triumph and tears, as represented by the names we place on these flickering tributes, guide us in our quest for a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
For those who have experienced the poignancy of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Alpena County's Luminaria Ceremony, please join us again. For those who have not, I urge you to come for one of the most moving events of your life and celebrate someone in your life who has battled cancer. This year's event takes place at the Alpena County Fairgrounds on Aug. 17-18.