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Relay: Standing together is the best way to defeat a bully

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Encouragement comes from challenging cancer

By Linda Ireland

It’s tough to fight a bully.

He doesn’t play fair. He hides and sneaks up on you. He intimidates you and your family.

The bully doesn’t care if you have attempted to live a clean and inoffensive life – or if you have children or grandchildren – or if you have done absolutely nothing to deserve his attention.

Without rhyme or reason, the bully will pick on your children and grandchildren. Your wife. Your husband.

He’ll put you through the wringer again and again.

This bully has a name. Cancer.

It has been not so long ago that I lost my dad and mom to the disease.

What caused it? I don’t know.

Dad smoked like a freight train, loved red meat and fried chicken and doctored his own wounds. I’ll never forget watching him patch up his leg after a run-in with a chainsaw.

Mom never smoked, grew and prepared their food and watched what she ate. She did her best to take care of herself and Dad.

Dad was truly a tough man. Mom was a tiny woman. But cancer ran roughshod over both.

At LaRue County’s Relay for Life Friday, it was evident that cancer does not care if you are a big strong man or a small child. It will attack you and do its best to take you out of this world.

The only thing to do is fight back – and that’s what Relay for Life is all about. A group of concerned people form a team and raise money to fight the disease. They spend a lot of hours doing fundraisers and celebrating successes during the year. Their efforts culminate at the annual 12-hour Relay.

This year, local teams and other contributors raised more than $59,000 for research and education. That’s a tremendous amount.

The survivors, those who fought and won – those who fought and lost – are heroes in the battle. Their caregivers deserve respect as well. They, better than anyone, know the heartache cancer causes.

Thank you to everyone who participated in Relay for Life. Here’s hoping that this year’s efforts lead to a cure.