BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) staff members participated in the 2012 American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life in Bremerton, Wash., June 1-2.
The annual event drew more than 75 teams, including several from local Navy Region Pacific Northwest commands.
"I'm very thankful to be able to be here to walk for those who are survivors and to remember those many of us have lost due to cancer. I'm also a survivor. I consider myself very lucky to be here," said Cmdr. Sally Butler, NHB Quality Management department head.
Cmdr. Fran Slonski, NHB Main Operating Room head nurse and also a cancer survivor, said the command support for the event was outstanding.
"I initially threw out the idea one day that we should field a team to participate, and in no time the notion caught on," said Slonski. "We immediately had a team full of enthusiastic staff members."
American Cancer Society statistics indicate that one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime; one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime; one in four deaths are cancer related; one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer; one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 600,000 Americans will die this year from a cancer-related illness.
Relay for Life, which began in 1985 in Tacoma, Wash., is part of a global movement that has helped millions of participants become involved each year to help end cancer. For Butler, her last personal involvement in Relay for Life took place on deployment when she was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"The last time I did this event was in Iraq, and it was such a phenomenal experience to be involved with; just as it is with the event here," said Butler. "For many of us, cancer isn't just something we hope isn't in our patients. It's something we have had to fight personally and seen friends and family struggle with."
According to ACS organizers, an event such as Relay for Life helps bring together entire communities to take part in the fight against cancer. Relay for Life is where people come to celebrate those who have survived cancer, remember those who have been lost, and help bring emotional, moral, and physical support to fight back against the disease.
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