Barbara Synco: A neighbor speaks

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 18, 2001

from the heart about cancer


Features Editor

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Barbara Synco, a pharmacist at Edge Regional Medical Center, has found that words come easy when they come from the heart. Today, Relay for Life day, she has a heartfelt message for all of us. If you don’t read anything else today, read this.

This is a test:

1. Where were you when you proposed to your wife or when your husband proposed to you?

2. Where were you when you learned that your family was going to include a baby?

3. Where were you when you learned that you or your loved one had cancer?

I’ll bet you can describe in detail the answers to the first two questions. If you have no answer for the last question – because neither you or any of your loved ones have ever had cancer – you are indeed a fortunate person.

Sadly you are also in the minority.

Even sadder is the fact that you probably will not stay in the minority very long. Almost all of us have been touched by this disease.

The American Cancer Society has a fundraiser called Relay for Life. Its sole purpose is to raise money to find a cure for cancer. Relay for Life is a huge part of my life. It should be a part of your life, too.

When I first started working with Relay for Life, I had lost several friends to cancer. I got involved because, in their memory, it seemed to be the right thing to do. Six years ago, when my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, working with Relay for Life became more personal. I was raising money that might fund a cure – maybe not for her, maybe it was too late for her – but for someone else with her disease.

This past year, on May 19, the very day of Relay for Life in Pike County, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. The man that I had lived with for 31 years had CANCER!

The father of my children had CANCER

CANCER was living right there in my house.

Where was I when we learned of his disease?

I can describe that moment to you in vivid detail.

Why am I now involved with Relay for Life? There is not a day that goes by that cancer is not on my mind.

Thank God, my husband is doing well, but someone else’s husband – or mother or father, or child, sister or brother – is not doing well.

How can I go about my daily life and not work to help those who many not be having such a good day?

Every day at Edge Regional Medical Center, we take care of those who are not having such a good day. Each one of those patients is someone’s husband or wife, mother or father, sister or brother or someone’s child. And, I can promise you that every single one of them can tell you what was happening in their lives when cancer came to live at their house.

Why should you be involved in Relay for Life?

Because Relay for Life raises money to fund research to find cures for cancer. It’s simple – no money, no research, no cure.

Somebody’s dollar will be the one that funds the research tthat finds the cure for somebody’s cancer. That somebody who gave that dollar could be you. The somebody who has cancer could be your loved one. That somebody could even be you,

More people than ever before are able to say, "I am living with cancer" instead of "I am dying with cancer." With enough money to fund enough research, cancer could be a disease of the past. How wonderful it would be if we could say, "I had cancer" with the same voice that might have said, "I had a bad cold." With your help, this could happen.

Your daddy told you that money doesn’t grow on

trees. Money is raised through the efforts of ordinary people like you and me.

Tonight, Pike County’s chapter of the American Cancer Society will celebrate the advances that have been made in the battle against cancer. People from all walks of life with gather at the band practice field on the Troy State University campus to honor those who have claimed victory over the disease, to support those who are now fighting the battle and remember those who lost their battles.

As you decide whether you will be a part of this Relay for Life event tonight,, remember the first two questions I asked?

I pray that we raise enough money before you have to answer question number 3.

Editors note: The majority of the money raised during Relay for Life 2001 has been collected, but if you haven’t had the opportunity to give or just want to give one more dollar or one more dime, find your way to the Relay for Life Committee tent. They’ll be glad to take donations throughout the night.