Five organization you help out with in the fight against cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month

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Melissa Wilson

Senior Melissa Wilson donated her hair to Locks of Love in November 2016. She cut off 10 inches to donate to the non-profit organization that help kids who have suffered long-term or permanant hair loss because of medical issues. Locks of Love makes over 2,000 hair pieces each year.

Rachel Shogren, Health Editor

Cancer is the second most common killer in the US, only behind heart disease. One out of every four deaths in the U.S. is due to some type of cancer. Each year, over 12 million people are diagnosed with a form of cancer; 15,000 of them are under the age of 19. Cancer is the second most common killer in the US, only behind heart disease. One out of every four deaths in the U.S. is due to some type of cancer. Each year, over 12 million people are diagnosed with a form of cancer; 15,000 of them are under the age of 19. There are over 100 different types of cancers that affect people today. The most commonly diagnosed cancers are Breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma and lung cancer. Most forms of cancer are yet to have a cure. Despite this, some have treatments that help defeat that form of cancer. Treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery have been proven to be most effective. These treatments are not guaranteed to work and are extremely invasive, grueling, and painful. Research is extremely important in the fight to cure cancer. Research costs a lot of money and there are hundreds of organizations dedicated to raising money for cancer research. Other fundraising organizations focus on raising money for the patients and their families. Some of these organizations are used to help people pay for the extremely expensive treatments that can cost between $10,000-$30,000 a month. Others are meant to make patients feel better by giving them things like wigs for those who lose hair in the battle, bringing in therapists for their mental help, or making sure kids have “a wish” come true.

1.) Locks of Love

Locks of love is a non-profit organization that collects human hair and makes wigs for American and Canadian children that have undergone chemotherapy and have lost their own hair. People send in their ponytails or braids of 10 inches of clean, healthy hair. Locks of Love creates hairpieces for children who suffer from long term or permanent hair loss. They sell the hair that will not work for their wigs and use the money to donate to cancer research. Locks of Love then makes wigs of different lengths, colors and styles for kids dealing with medical hair loss. Locks of Love aims to create at least 2,000 hair pieces each year. “I was scared at first but I was really happy at the end of the day,” senior Melissa Wilson said. “I knew it would go to someone who deserved it.”Donating hair is easy: grow it out, cut it and send it in to help kids who need it.

2.) Relay for life   

Relay for life is a fundraising event that puts on over 5,000 events in 20 different countries each year. Relay for life helps the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking research, crucial patient care programs, and education and prevention information. Relay for life is a team event where team members take turns walking for anywhere between 6 and 24 hours. Some member of the team is asked to stay on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps and cancer patients can’t take a break when they are tired. These events also have food, goods, games and other activities.Last year, Relay for life provided $406 million for research grants. They also held over 1.2 million calls and chats offering support to patients and caregivers. Relay for life supplied over 456,000 nights of free lodging at Hope Lodge, a place that feels like home for cancer patients and their families when they need to travel for medical treatment. You can check the Relay for Life website for local events in our area.

3.) Make a Wish Foundation

The Make a Wish foundation is a non-profit organization that arranges experiences known as “wishes” for kids with life threatening conditions.Make a wish does anything from take a family to Disney land to introducing a child to their favorite singer. The foundation runs off of volunteers. People who volunteer their time to help the kids, to help them think of a wish, to help them fulfill their wish. Donations are what makes the foundation run. You can throw a bake sale or a car wash to raise money and then donate it to Make a Wish. Donations can be made on their website. Even $50 can help make a child with cancer’s wish come true.

4.) Susan G. Komen for the cure

Susan G. Komen for the cure is the largest and best funded Breast Cancer organization in the US. They raise money to invest into research that is focused on curing and preventing breast cancer. Since the organization was founded in 1982, Breast Cancer mortality has decreased 39 percent. The research that Susan G. Komen has funded has supported more than three million survivors of this common disease. The organization raises money through walks and runs that they sponsor. They hold a series of 5k runs and fitness walks throughout almost every state in the US. They also reach out globally to help others affected with breast cancer. Fundraising also comes through apparel sales and donations. Check the Susan G. Komen for the cure website to find an event in your area.

5.) Leukemia and Lymphoma society (LLS)

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research. LLS is dedicated to funding research, finding cures, and accessing treatments for patients dealing with blood cancer. In 2015, The LLS supported more than 60,000 patients and provided over $40 million for blood cancer research. The LLS works to provide care for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma. The LLS survives mainly on donations. They do host several events with local teams such as Run-a-thons and swim- a- thons. They work with kids on local track and swim teams to raise money for each lap they run/swim. All the proceeds go to the blood cancer research. Donate on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website.