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ACS Bus Making Appearance at Relay for Life Picnic

August 5, 2008

By Jackie Hyra, The Jamestown Sun, N.D.

Aug. 5–Stutsman County Relay for Life is hosting a community wide picnic from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in front of the General Store at Frontier Village. The picnic is in conjunction with a visit from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s Fight Back Express bus campaign.

“It’s (the picnic) just in appreciation of the community for their continued support of Relay for Life,” said Michelle Kramlich, 2008 chairwoman for Stutsman County.

Kramlich said the Fight Back Express is one of several buses currently crisscrossing the country, stopping in the 48 contiguous states on a six-month tour to promote access to health care for all Americans.

Megan Smith, ACS grassroots relationship manager, said progress in cancer prevention, early detection and treatment has resulted in a reduction in death rates from cancer each year since 1991. But that fact isn’t very relevant to the more than 47 million uninsured — and many millions more underinsured — Americans.

“Too often, lifesaving cancer prevention, early detection and treatment programs are not available to patients who need care the most,” Smith said.

Kramlich said in North Dakota many people don’t have adequate health insurance to deal with a catastrophic illness like cancer.

“In America, that’s just not acceptable,” she said.

The bus tour highlights the role elected officials play in the fight against cancer and the role of the all citizens in motivating those officials to make cancer a national priority and improve access to health care and adequate health coverage for all.

“We aren’t going to find a cure for cancer without the government’s help,” Kramlich said.

Cancer survivors, family and friends can sign their names on the bus, which will join the other buses in Washington D.C. on Election day, Nov. 11. Kramlich said the buses will carry stories from people whose lives were touched by cancer to Congress. She said the campaign will let people know that their voices have an effect on national policy.

Area cancer survivors, their families and caregivers will rally at Frontier Village to greet the Fight Back Express, but the event and picnic are open to the public. The Relay for Life team is planning to have hot dogs, brats, chips, dessert and a drink for 400 guests. The team asks that people bring lawn chairs or blankets and a “celebratory attitude.”

For entertainment, Frontier Village is hosting karaoke from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The bus is scheduled to arrive at 6:30, and a short program will be at 7:30.

In case of rain, the bus and picnic will be at First United Methodist Church, 115 Third St. S.E.

For more information on the Fight Back Express, visit www.acscan.org.

Sun reporter Jackie Hyra can be reached at (701) 952-8455 or by e-mail at jackieh@jamestownsun.com

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Jamestown Sun, N.D.

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