According to the American Cancer Society Web site, approximately 1.4 million people are expected to be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2007. This year, as many as 559,650 Americans are expected to die from the disease. That's more than 1,500 people a day.
Although medical breakthroughs occur daily, a cure for cancer is still not available.
The five-year survival rate for all cancers diagnosed is up to about 66 percent, but there is still a large percentage of people who die prematurely because they lost their battle to the disease.
Events such as the Ride for Roswell financially support the increased survival rates because the proceeds go toward scientific research, which will eventually lead to a cure. Last year, participants raised more than $1.2 million for research and patient programs at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. We challenge participants to raise even more money this year.
The Ride for Roswell, now in its 12th year, starts and ends at Baird Point on the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst. There are nine-, 20-, 33- and 62.5-mile routes through Amherst, Clarence, the Tonawandas and Orleans County that are designed to accommodate riders of all ages and abilities. Riders should check in between 6:15 and 9:15 a.m., depending on the route. We encourage residents to join teams or to go individually and support this worthy cause.
Cancer is the second most common cause of mortality in the United States, accounting for one in four deaths.
The National Institutes of Health estimates the overall cost of cancer to be $206.2 billion - $78.2 billion for direct medical costs; $17.9 billion for indirect morbidity cost, which is the amount of lost productivity due to illness; and $110.2 billion for indirect mortality cost, which is the amount of lost productivity due to premature death.
We encourage everyone to participate in this annual event - whether it be participating on a team or making a monetary donation.
Volunteers are also needed throughout the day and should call 845-1478 to sign up. Volunteering is a great way to feel the excitement of the event without participating on a bicycle.
The only way a cure for cancer will be found is if people continue to support events such as the Ride for Roswell. You can make a difference, so step up to the challenge.
For more information on the Ride or to register or find fundraising tools, visit the Web site at www.RideforRoswell.org or call 845-8788.