Opinions

The cancer conundrum

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Cancer. For many, just the word dredges up horrible memories of those lost and their painful departure. It is mankind's omnipresent enemy, for long before we ever had a word for it, it was simply "natural causes." Therein lies the rub--it's hard to combat a disease nature herself controls.

And yet in recent times studying the ailment has given us much hope. Doctors continually find new methods of treatment and we have reached an age where it is possible to survive in spite of the disease. We have also discovered that cancer cells do not have aging mechanisms, effectively rendering cancer immortal. Every day new drugs are combatting cancer in new ways. But, cancer still affects too many.

It is to these ends that Providing a Voice, a local group, are organizing a cancer fundraiser where participants--including two of our very own Gauntleteers--will collect pledges and shave their heads. The event takes place on Thu., Mar. 31 and the pledges go to three charities: the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society and Kids Care Cancer Foundation of Alberta.

People often ask what the purpose of donating personal money to charities like this is. The most cynical of people accuse charity participants of doing so to serve their ego. This is not entirely the case. Though it does feel good to help, every penny charities receive is another penny they can put to good use in research.

It is with these words that you can consider yourself implor-ed to participate. It's easy--go to www.shaveyourhead.ca and request a pledge package. If you don't have the time to collect pledges or need your hair, donate to someone else. It's likely that somebody near you is participating (you can even come donate your money to the Gauntlet's participants). You could also e-mail donate@shaveyourhead.ca and discuss donation possibilities.

Also, come cheer on your peers as they get their heads shaved on Thu., Mar. 31. Your cheers may not seem like much, but to the participants and cancer patients, it means the world. Just like money, every person that cares about cancer is another person closer to solving the problem. By working together, however cliched that may sound, we may be able to defeat an enemy that has brought pain so many. The cost is slight, and the benefits innumerable.

Get involved.

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