Now more than ever, Florida is in dire need of a cure for cancer. Tens of thousands of new cases are reported every year. Like a constant drum beat, cancer continues to pound our communities.
The American Cancer Society estimates 96,000 Floridians will be diagnosed with the disease this year, so why is Florida predicted to have so many new cancer cases? One reason is because of our aging population. Many cancers don't show up until late in life.
"We're a growing state and we're also an older state, and those are probably the reasons, and we're doing some stuff legislatively to try to find a cure through some legislative action to cancer research and treatment," said Larry Buck, American Cancer Society Chair.
Three of the top four most common cancers are found in older patients: prostate, breast and lung cancer.
Bobbye Baker was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just before her 71st birthday. Like her, thousands of volunteers gather at the Leon County Fairgrounds every year to fight back.
It's the largest fundraiser in north Florida, and it's an event that just gets bigger every year.
"The only way to do that sort of thing is to continue with research, and research takes money, and this is one of the ways to get the money for that," said Bobbye Baker, a cancer survivor.
So while cancer continues its pounding on our residents, our residents will keep fighting back. The American Cancer Society says thousands of volunteers have logged more than 180 hours walking during the Relay for Life.