Supporting Relay supports our friends, neighbors

There are some things you just never tire of supporting. For us, one of those at the top of the list is Relay for Life.

The event, designed to raise money for continued cancer research, support survivors, comfort loved ones of those who’ve lost their brave battles and heighten awareness of a disease that has taken so many lives, continues its long and successful course in Sampson County, being held this year on June 1. But much is happening now, with teams holding assorted fundraisers and organizers preparing for what they hope will be a return to the kind of Relays we fondly — and quite proudly — remember.

We hope the events leading up to the Relay, and the Relay itself, will garner the support of this wonderful community whose people, time after time, rally for great causes, assuring they are successful endeavors that make a difference in the lives of others.

Relay for Life and its sponsor, the American Cancer Society, have made tremendous inroads in the battle against cancer, doing exactly what had been hoped — increasing awareness and garnering money that has helped bring breakthroughs in significant medial research. It has been that research that has brought about amazing strides in helping those diagnosed with many types of cancer live longer, healthier lives.

The search for a cure continues and, therefore, so does the need for amazing events like our Relay for Life, which does far more than merely raise money or awareness. Our event has always offered hope, shown compassion and pulled people from all walks of life together for a common cause. Yes, we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way, but those who have been a part of any aspect of our Relay for the last decade and beyond know that it’s just as much about the friendships forged and the souls knitted together as it is about anything.

Sadly, interest in our Relay has seemed to diminish from the massive crowds of several years ago, but the determination of its staunchest supporters ensures that the event continues, and the hope is that the once greatly anticipated — and participated in — Relay for Life in Sampson County will rise to its greatest heights again.

Cancer’s reach in our community has not diminished, however. In fact, if one looks around, we can clearly see more lives touched by the disease than ever before. We draw in our breath when we hear someone has been diagnosed, we offer a prayer for their healing and we silently hope that what has touched yet another family we know won’t make its way to our own door.

But we believe the battle against cancer will one day be won. We know if determination has anything to do with it, we will win; if faith has anything to do with it, we will win; and if love has anything to do with it, we will win.

And if support can help us get there, despite the years of waning interest, we will rally to show that great support once again.

That support can continue as we are urged to purchase a luminary in honor or memory of someone who has battled the dreaded disease, attend the June 1 event or contribute to any number of causes designed to help raise money for this event.

Relay needs our support. If you can, won’t you give it?