08/16/07 — Battling cancer: Proposal to build world-class cancer center is about hope

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Battling cancer: Proposal to build world-class cancer center is about hope

Finally, state lawmakers have discovered a good way to spend some of the millions of tax dollars that North Carolina residents send to Raleigh each year.

Before they closed out this year’s session, legislators voted to devote $50 million a year — for as long as it takes — to develop a world-class cancer hospital in North Carolina.

And, if successful, when they are finished, North Carolina officials will have created not only a center of national renown, but a place close to home for families who are battling the disease.

The money will be earmarked for acquiring all the makings of a first-class facility — personnel, equipment and research capability — for Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

And that brings up an interesting idea — especially in light of the tremendous amount of donations this county raises each year as part of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Wouldn’t it be nice if some of the efforts that this and other counties make in the fight to end cancer could be used to create a place for families right here at home?

While the national research and treatment efforts are important, what if we could add some piece of equipment, clinic or other services that would help our neighbors and friends right here?

It is an intriguing concept, isn’t it? Think what hundreds of thousands of dollars might buy.

The tremendous support this community musters for the Relay for Life is a testament to what happens when people set aside their own needs and put 100 percent of their efforts to thinking and caring about others.

They do it because, in part, cancer touches so many lives. Their commitment to the cause is a way to honor those who have fought and are still fighting the disease.

And their achievements are phenomenal each year.

This area is a trend-setter — other counties would love to manage to raise the awareness and money Wayne County brings in each year.

What if, in addition to the fundraising, the area’s efforts could be directed toward earmarking money to help patients in North Carolina or Wayne County?

It would be a tremendous achievement, and a goal worth considering.

And it might be a chance to deal a direct blow to a disease that claims far too many Wayne County residents each year.

Published in Editorials on August 16, 2007 11:49 AM