Numbers can be very telling

Do you like numbers? Numbers are very telling. So here are a few to ponder: 80, $10,000, 25, $3000, 0-$20,000, 400, 1. Let’s take a look at this numbers.

80. This is the number of active cancer patients enrolled in the Laurens County Cancer Association. Some come once a month and the rest come every 2-3 months. This number is growing and will continue to grow.

$10,000. This represents the monthly cost of newly-approved cancer drugs according to The American Society of Clinical Oncology. Cancer research comes at a cost-on the front end, and the backend. We all want new drugs that fight cancer but they are so expensive to the patient once they are approved for use. Yes, insurance and Medicare, Medicaid help with these costs-but a $10,000 monthly treatment fee? Wow!

25. The LCCA provides this number of cases of Ensure for those who are having trouble keeping weight on during treatment or maybe they are just having trouble eating because of sores in their mouth due to treatment or they have a digestive cancer such as mouth, throat, stomach. To some this is a saving grace Ensure is good stuff! But again, good stuff is expensive-try eating organic.

$3,000. This reflect the amount of gas cards the LCCA provides month. Driving to radiation or chemotherapy from Laurens County takes a toll. One has to drive at least 45 minutes to get to any treatment facility. Radiation means you drive this everyday for about 6 weeks.

0-$20,000. This represents the income of the average person coming into the LCCA. The LCCA is available to every Laurens County resident with cancer no matter of income, however, most folks we see happen to be retired or are unable to work due to cancer.

400. This number is how many folks are diagnosed with cancer a year in Laurens County-quite staggering isn’t it? Stop and think about those people in your life with cancer or cancer with in the last 5 years. The LCCA has 80 of these patients right now-that is a start, but this number of 80 is going to grow and we are thankful we can help so many.

LASTLY, THE NUMBER 1 ~ This number is very significant and represents the a few different aspects of the LCCA.

First, this number represents Ann Casey the part-time executive director at the LCCA. I had the pleasure of volunteering to work with Ann last week and let me tell you what, she knows each individual that comes through the door and they are so relieved to see her smiling face. Ann connects with each patient, remembers such significant facts of each of their journeys, it truly is incredible.

Second, this number represents each ONE of you reading this column. YOU are significant. You might be doing the Run Like a Mann this Saturday at 8:30 am which will take place at our office. Each registration helps the LCCA buy a case of Ensure. You might have been part of the CHS Blackout that Coach Webb, Red Devil Football, students, teachers, and community supported 100%-if so YOU made a difference. The $3000 raised will help pay for ONE month of gas cards.

YOU might be reading this column for the first time, but you can still be ONE that does something to help a friend or family member through cancer. Each ONE of us is significant and we all have someone that has touched our lives that has battled cancer. I challenge you today with this-in the next month do SOMETHING to honor a person that has battled cancer: take part in the Run Like a Mann this Saturday, offer to volunteer in the office for 2 hours and greet cancer patients, play in the golf tournament this spring, invite us to come speak at your club or church or school-just do something.

All of these numbers add up—they add up to something that cannot be measured by numbers-HOPE.

(Susan Tallman is a two-time breast cancer survivor and serves on the board of the Laurens County Cancer Association. mail:

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