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Fighting cancer one small step at a time


Cancer is hell.

We’ve all lost loved ones to this dreaded disease.

Making a small donation to organizations fighting cancer and its collateral damage can’t possibly help. Or can it?

April 29 marked the third anniversary of my father’s death. While it was ultimately Parkinson’s Disease that took him down, he had previously fought two different cancers: prostate and bladder.

All cancers are different, and all victims have their own journeys with it, but bladder cancer, even fairly recently, was one that almost always took people out, usually in a hurry. But because of advances in technology and treatment, my dad was able to beat bladder cancer. He had beaten prostate cancer a few years before that.

Those medical improvements were spurred by millions of small donations from the hundreds of organizations nationwide and worldwide fighting cancer in one way or another. So, yes, small donations can help.

I am shaving my rather long-ish hair May 13 to generate awareness of some local cancer-fighting groups and gather small donations.

One local organization, CARE (Cancer Aid Resource & Education Inc.) works to help cancer victims make it through the struggles, whether it’s helping them navigate confusing insurance issues, or helping them make a rent payment. This year marks CARE’s 10th anniversary, built on many small donations.

Another local organization, Cancer Warriors Las Cruces, is designed to “help cancer suck less.” They work to provide support, comfort, equipment, clothing and personal care, primarily for victims of women’s cancers, such as those of the breast and uterus. This group, founded by Marci Dickerson, is brand new, and yes, building from multiple small donations (and a few big ones!).

A third group, Cowboys for Cancer Research, has been around since 1982, and grew from a small fundraising team-roping event into an organization that now has million-dollar-plus endowments at both New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico funding vital cancer research.

“Every little bit helps,” said Geraldine Calhoun, one of the original leaders of C4CR. “That’s how we started.”

My goal is to raise a total of $3,000, or at least $1,000 for each of these organizations. As of this writing, I’m a little over $1,200, with donations from several people, including Ellen Saige, Rob McCorkle, Steve Ludington, Pam Lillibridge and a very generous one from the Wellspring Church.

If you or your organization would like to contribute, contact me at 575-526-4712 or richard@lascrucesbulletin.com. Or come by City Barber Shop around 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13, and watch my hair come off.