To the Editor:
I have a huge debt to repay. And actual repayment isn’t possible, so I’m going to Give Back.
Four years ago this week I was told that I had a cancerous tumor growing in my head. Six months later, the tumor was gone — destroyed by the wonders of today’s technology for fighting cancer. We’ve been blessed with great insurance, so our financial cost was small.
The debt I owe is to those who cared for me, prayed for me, drove me, researched new ways to fight cancer, and to countless medical staff people that took action and made me well. I’ll never come close to repaying it all.
One way to try to repay this debt is to support the American Cancer Society. Just this month, the American Cancer Society announced the largest drop in cancer death rates in history. The cancer death rate has declined by 30% since 1990. With advancement in research aided by generous donors and community organizers, my life is one that has been saved.
For over 20 years, we’ve had Relay for Life fundraising events in La Salle County. I took a small part in these years ago — now being a survivor and having that huge debt has renewed my interest a thousand-fold. The Relays for Life are being renewed – and are now being called Nights of Hope. There will be several Nights of Hope events this year in La Salle County. These events raise funds for cancer research, help people with their treatments and getting to them, help patients deal with the physical and emotional impacts, and so much more.
Many teams are needed to help make a big impact for those with cancer, and to help those that will someday be afflicted. Would you consider forming a team? To participate, register at main.events.org/lasallenightofhope
Our team, Team Trinity from Ottawa’s Trinity Lutheran Church, will kick off this year’s La Salle County events from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 5. Join us at Starved Rock Lodge for one of their “Give Back Nights.” The Lodge will serve a buffet-style dinner in their dining room. For every dinner sold, they’ll give $4 for the American Cancer Society. Everyone is invited and is welcome!
The Lodge allows us to do other fundraisers. We’ll sell luminaries for $10, and light them that evening in honor of those who’ve survived and in memory of those lost to cancer. And we’ll save the luminaries, and light them at every event we have this year. We’re planning some raffles, some light music, and more. And we’re happy to talk with anyone that may be interested in forming their own team, continuing their team this year, or even joining ours.
When we were considering forming our team two years ago, we asked our worshipers “how many of you have had cancer, or have friends and family members that have had cancer?” Ninety percent of those there raised their hands. It affects, or will affect everyone in some way. Let’s work to change this! Please consider forming a team! And Give Back!
The cost for the Give Back Dinner is $15.95 for adults, $7.95 for children (3 to 10 years old), plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made at the Lodge (preferable for large groups).
For more information, call Trinity Lutheran Church at 815-434-0596, Paul Youngstrum at 815-993-3536.
PAUL YOUNGSTRUM, Ottawa