Many people who know me understand that my mother, Joyce Huntress, died of cancer on Dec. 5, 2005. She had battled cancer the last few years of her life. The initial diagnosis was colon cancer, for which she was treated with surgery & chemotherapy. Sometime later, cancer was found again, this time in one of her lungs. Again she underwent surgery & was treated with radiation. Roughly two years following my mom’s initial diagnosis, cancer had returned. A lump on one of her kidneys caused much pain & discomfort. After a brief period of chemotherapy treatment, one that brought her more sickness & failing health, my mom decided that she had had enough of the treatment. Her wish was to be as comfortable as possible & enjoy her remaining time here with her family & friends. She died at home. My oldest brother & one of my sisters bore most of the burden in caring for mom. For this I’ll always be grateful.
According to Wikipedia, colon cancer accounts for over 655,000 deaths worldwide per year, and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western World. Worldwide, it’s the third most common cause of cancer. Colorectal cancer may take years to develop and early detection of it greatly improves the chance of a cure. Heredity, smoking, heavy drinking, diet & physical inactivity are just some of the possible risk-contributing factors associated with colorectal cancer. Survival is directly related to detection and type of cancer involved. Survival rates are almost 5 times greater for early stage detection vs. late stage detection.
Beginning in August of ’09, I’m heading back to the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. In 2008 I hiked almost 470 miles of the AT. It’s not determined yet how many more miles I’ll hike this year. I’m dedicating the hike this year to colorectal cancer, in raising both awareness & money for its research, treatment & education, and in memory of my mom. It would be great if you could afford to give even a small amount as a tax-deductible donation. A donation button or link will be added here & at the Noreast Whips website in another day or two. The donations will be accepted starting this week & running during the entire time I’m hiking the AT. The projected deadline is mid-September. Please give if at all possible.
As an additional promotion, Noreast Whips will be giving away a bullwhip at the end of the donation period. A drawing will be held among the names of all who give a minimum of $25. The details of the whip will be released in another blog post, and the drawing will be held at the end of September 2009. Thank you to all who plan to give & support this fund-raising event.