Fighting Cancer, How to Get Out and Involved By Using Your Body- Shave Your Head, Walk for Life, or Grow a Mustache
Committing and Getting Involved is the First Step
During the past few years, I have personally seen cancer come closer and closer to home. It seemed that a disease that only affected a few people decades ago now appeared rampant. Each of you reading this will probably know someone close that has been affected by this disease. This past year I have seen and experience both stories of triumph and sadness. Some lost the battle, but countless others continue to fight and beat this monster called cancer.
Although cancer still has an upper hand, technological advances in medicine have helped humankind fight back. More importantly, hope and faith have proven to be powerful tools. One can hope and stay positive, supporting each other to beat cancer. One can also have faith in God. Somehow and in some way, he has a plan for each of us, and shines a bright light in this darkest hour.
Working as a firefighter, it has been a privilege to help lead the fight against cancer. Time and time again, my heart breaks to hear the endearing stories of survival when I meet people affected by cancer at these events. Personally, I would rather attend a function celebrating the cure for cancer rather than these charities. Unfortunately, we as humankind are not there yet. In the interim, I am content to sacrifice my body to raise money to fight against cancer, and rejoice in the success of those who have beat this disease. There are many organizations, charities, and fundraisers that have committed to fighting cancer. It is up to you to get up, search these out, and get involved. If you live locally in the Southern California region, please attend these events described below.
Shaving It Off to Fight Childhood Cancer
Shavees Proudly Show Their Bald Heads
St. Baldrick's Foundation
"The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives." 1
Every March for the past ten years, Matt Denny's Alehouse in Arcadia has organized this event. It has quickly become the largest fundraiser for the St. Baldrick's Foundation in the San Gabriel Valley. This past year, 2012, the fundraising goal was set at $30,000, but with the help of different organizations and the community the event raised over $60,000.
The Arcadia Firefighters' Association has been involved the past few years in this event. In partnership with the city of Hope, a fire engine is taken to the hospital to pick up a few of the children fighting cancer. We give them a ride of their life, showing them our equipment, and bringing them to the event in style. These kids start off the event by shaving the heads of different participants.
This event is an easy and fun way to help with the fight against childhood cancer. Giving up some hair is a small price to pay in comparison to the brave little children battling against all odds. At the end, everyone around the event is shaven bald in hopes that these children do not feel alone. With cancer being the number one disease killer of children in the United States and Canada1, it is that much more important that you get involved.
1. "St. Baldrick's | Help Kids with Cancer | Cure Childhood Cancer." St. Baldrick's | Help Kids with Cancer | Cure Childhood Cancer. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2012. <http://www.stbaldricks.org/>.
The Firefighter's Camp
Celebrating Those Still Fighting and Surviving
Relay for Life Arcadia
"Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.
At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length. Relayers do not have to walk all night, but each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event." 1
Community organizations, support groups, families walking for their loved ones, and informational centers gather at the Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia every June to participate in the Relay for Life. The event is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and brings in hundreds of people. This year has seen over $75000 raised to help fund the fight against cancer.
The event begins on a Saturday morning at 11 a.m. in June and ends the following day at the same time. Each team that is organized assigns individuals in their group to walk certain time frames within that 24 hour period. The hope is that people from different backgrounds come and walk together to fight against cancer. In the morning, local firefighters come and cook pancakes for the participants. Throughout the event, powerful ceremonies look to honor those who have lost their lives, convict those living to fight back against cancer by changing something in their own lives, and celebrate many who have survived the fight. It is a great way to exercise by sacrificing your body, and walking around the track to join the fight against cancer.
1. "Learn About Relay." Relay For Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2012. <http://www.relayforlife.org/learn/index?__utma=1.157517791.1334767967.1339173483.1340555648.5>.
Let the Growing Begin
To the Gala We Go
"During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men." 1
Every November, our firefighters' association along with men across the world with the support of our women grow mustaches and raise funds to fight against men's related cancer. In partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, Movember raises money to help fund research to find a cure for men's related cancer.
Prior to the start of November, teams are formulated and prepare for this grueling month. Each member finds donors and sponsors to support the growth of their mustache. Once the first day of November hits, all facial hair is shaven off and the growing begins! As each week progresses, pictures are posted to show the change of their facial growth. At the end of the month, all participants congregate at their local events and celebrate another successful year of facial hair growth and fundraising. Again, this is a small gesture and inconvenience in comparison to those who are battling cancer. Please help grow facial hair to fight against cancer!
1. "About Movember." Movember United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2012. <http://us.movember.com/about/>.
St. Baldrick's Foundation
- St. Baldrick's | Help Kids with Cancer | Cure Childhood Cancer
The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a childhood cancer charity funding the most promising research to help find cures for kids with cancer.
Relay for Life
- Relay for Life
Relay For Life are life-changing cancer events that help communities across the globe fight back against cancer.
- Movember United States - Home
Face grown and hand brushed, these mustaches fight against men's related cancer.