We can beat cancer one penny at a time

Published 8:58 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

There are two sure things in many people’s lives. We all buy groceries, and we all know someone whose life has been affected by cancer.

Now, many Alabama companies have given us an opportunity to use our grocery purchases to do our part to eliminate the latter.

Through the program Buy Alabama’s Best, a portion of the proceeds from products made by Golden Flake, Milo’s and a number of other local companies are donated to the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. The program targets September and March.

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While September has almost come and gone, it is important that we keep the idea fresh in our minds when it rolls around again.

I was unaware of this program until I met Cindy Duck, whose 7-year-old cousin Fuller Goldsmith is battling leukemia. Cindy was at the library to  talk to first graders from Selma and Dallas County about some children like Fuller who aren’t able to run and play all the time because they must undergo treatments.

She talked about all of the things he has missed out on because of the illness. It was truly touching.

Mrs. Duck also made a very interesting and accurate point. She said people often shy away from helping out with charities to benefit cancer research because they don’t feel they could raise the funds needed to make an impact. However, she added, every penny makes a difference.

Programs like Buy Alabama’s Best, Relay for Life, and the hundreds of other causes give everyone a chance to turn pennies into millions of dollars for research. They allow us to make a difference simply by going about our daily lives.

There are causes we can participate in every day, every week and every month if we only do a little research to find them. By this weekend, the Buy Alabama’s Best campaign will have come and gone. But that doesn’t mean our efforts to fight cancer have to end until Relay, or the next big event.

Keep an eye out for new ways to help. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is a good start.

If we continue to contribute to any cause we can, cancer can be defeated through research. Keep  fighting the good fight.