Editorial: Enjoy a game and help combat cancer at Smokies Park

Apr. 25, 2013 @ 07:09 PM

Cancer. The very mention of the word invokes fear. All of us have been affected by this often fatal disease in one way or another. Almost all of us have lost a friend or family member to its devastating effects.

Cancer isn’t prejudiced. It affects people of all nationalities and walks of life. It hits men, women and children of all ages. And cancer never sleeps. We can’t either, if we hope to combat it.

Tonight the Sevier County Department of Economic Development and Tourism partners with Smokies Baseball to host Night at the Ballpark, which benefits the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Sevier County.

The event at Smokies park is also sponsored by Team Kelly and Team Matt, representing two Sevier Countians recently diagnosed with cancer. Kelly DuBord and Matt Strautner were both shocked to receive their diagnoses. Neither had any previous health issues, yet both fell prey to cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society’s website, approximately 1,638,910 new cancer cases are diagnosed each year. Those numbers are alarming, but we can do something to help.

Each year more than 4 million people in over 20 countries raise funds and increase awareness of cancer through Relay for Life programs. It’s an opportunity to honor survivors, remember those we have lost, and fight back against this dreadful disease.

Both DuBord and Strautner said their perspective on life changed after their diagnosis. They take their responsibilities more seriously, enjoy each moment, and seek to help others.

Let’s all do our part to help Team Matt and Team Kelly tonight at the ballpark. Let’s make sure they reach their $10,000 goal.

Participants who bought tickets via the Relay for Life promotion get to watch a great game from field-level seats, enjoy a fireworks show, and be treated to a meal – and make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.

The deadline for buying those tickets has passed, but if you missed it, you also can make a difference by contributing a donation at the game.

Don’t wait until cancer hits close to your heart. Let’s make a difference now.