Teens against Cancer

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1,500; 1,470,000; 562,000; what do these numbers mean to you? To cancer patients it may mean their future, or to the families of the loved ones with cancer it could mean the patients’ past. The very large numbers represent three different things: The daily death of Americans with cancer (1,500), the cases of cancer diagnosed (1,470,000), and the deaths of cancer patients yearly (562,000). All of these numbers may be very frightening to read, but imagine that you have a direct connection to them and you will be terrified. Unfortunately, I do have a connection, a very close one, and it’s with my mother who lost her battle to cancer in May of 2008. We went through the battle as a family from the diagnosis in the hospital to the devastating ending of her life in the hospice center; we just stuck together. That’s what everyone with this disease needs. My mom went from being really healthy to amazingly sick, and that’s how it will hit many. It’s difficult to imagine the pain of losing a loved one to this cruel disease, and no one may ever realize how much it can affect a single soul unless they have gone through the experience. You may be thinking, “Okay… so what? What can I do, I’m just a kid.” Yes, you are only a teen but you too can play a huge part in helping battle this horrible disease. We teens can become aware of the symptoms of cancer and have more knowledge about this disease; we can volunteer our time to help with others, and we can send out our prayers and thoughts to those affected by cancer.

You may not even know much about cancer yet. Did you know, for example, that cancer is the second highest cause of death in the United States, next to heart disease? It is, and the second spot is high on the list; just think about how many causes of death there are! So we should all get familiar with the symptoms and the disease to lower that number. If someone you know or even you have the following symptoms continually, they need to be reported to the doctor immediately. General cancer symptoms include chills, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, malaise, night sweats, or weight loss. Also keep in mind, though, that not all cancers have symptoms, so you need to be regularly checked especially if there is a history of cancer in your family. Age is no factor and that too is important to know. Together teens will soon be involved in the numbers drastically dropping in death rates from cancer.

If the point hasn’t gotten across already, it doesn’t matter that we are only teens. There are certain programs set up for fighting cancer now that you can get involved in. Funding research to help find cures for the various cancers is critical to winning the battle. The Relay for Life and Volley for the Cure are two such opportunities. Get on the computer and look up other programs near you. You can get connected with others that have the same interests as you, at no cost to yourself. It will only take a couple hours every few days or so, and your kind, caring self. There may be people in the same community as you battling cancer, and they could be all alone with no one giving them the support and help they need to get through their day or the rest of their life. Imagine how happy it would make someone to go sit with them and give them a break from the pain and devastation brought on by this heartless killer. Just sitting together would be like giving a little kid a lollipop, imagine the smile on their face. It will take very little time and effort, and it can make a huge impact on an individual’s life. Go for it teens, volunteer!

Want another way to help make this disease go better for all? Why don’t you take two minutes at night before you go to bed, or when you wake in the morning, to just send out a prayer to someone in need. It could be for anyone with cancer, from an infant to an elder, and whether they know that you are doing this or not, I believe it could add a day, a year, or the rest of a life onto the time winding down. Even throughout the day why don’t you try just thinking about all this information and spread the word. Knock down the second highest cause of death with me!

Take all this in, everything, and close your eyes for just a moment. Now think about it, do you want to help? If your answer is yes, get to it! Find a center near you and get all the information you need. Make sure that you are healthy yourself, and inform your family and friends to get regularly checked too. And definitely send out your thoughts to those with cancer. If you don’t want to be affected with cancer or see those close to you be affected with cancer please just become aware and work to support researchers in finding a cure. I know how it is and coming from my heart, it would mean so much to so many if you just give this a try. Remember it’s not much that you would have to do, but you could be knocking numbers off the charts. Cancer is not a walk in the park, its defiantly straining patients everyday. Come on teens, make a move from deep in your heart, and slow down this disease we call cancer.





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