03/12/13 — Relay for Isaiah: Another life lost much to soon -- and a reason to get to work

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Relay for Isaiah: Another life lost much to soon -- and a reason to get to work

Wayne County gained another angel this week -- much too soon.

And the sad fact about this story is that it is not the only one we have told this year of good people who have lost their battles with cancer.

But Isaiah Henderson's life story is a hard one to hear. After years of fighting, he lost his bout with the disease this weekend.

Optimistic until the end, this young man was wise beyond his 14 years.

He understood that faith, hope and the support of family and friends will get you through a lot of tough stuff. And he was courageous enough to be up for the fight.

His story has been told again and again over the last 12 months as we have had to say goodbye to too many people whose lives were cut tragically short by cancer.

So, we will mourn all of them -- and think also of the people in our lives who might be rallying to beat this dread disease.

But mourning is not enough.

And Wayne County is certainly one place that knows that all too well.

That's why there are already teams raising money for this year's Relay for Life. They are baking cupcakes, selling crafts and doing all sorts of projects to bring in money to raise money for research -- the best way to beat this disease.

They do not just want to have the money to pay for support for and memorials to cancer patients -- although those are important, too.

They want to be around when the announcement is made that a cure has been found.

Americans are thinking long and hard before they invest their money in causes -- and this year is no exception.

And Wayne County is not immune to the problems with the economy.

So deciding what to support and where to cut takes on a new urgency.

So we suggest this: Relay for Isaiah -- with the same spirit, the same faith and the same courage -- and even if you have never Relayed before this year.

Continue the fight for those who are still waging their wars and for those for whom cancer will be a new diagnosis this year. Show them that their community is in their corner and that we are united in our search for a cure. Make this a year for the record books.

All it takes is the same faith and courage and hope that were part of Isaiah Henderson's life every day.

The American Cancer Society is making strides every day toward the end of making cancer a thing of the past.

And already more people are living because of this research.

Cancer is not necessarily a death sentence anymore.

And that is, in part, because of people like Isaiah and the thousands of others who have been part of the Relay for Life effort.

We owe it to him -- and to other heroes we have lost -- to continue that work, until cancer is just another word.

Published in Editorials on March 12, 2013 10:45 AM