This story original appeared in the “Progress 2017” section of North Country This Week.
Founded in 1979, the Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life has been a leader in raising money for the local fight against cancer. To date, the event has raised nearly $1.5 million which has been distributed to local charities that work to educate the community and help with the prevention, early detection and diagnosis of cancer for local residents.
A total of $80,000 was distributed among organizations throughout St. Lawrence County to provide funds and programming in 2017. Currently funded programs include:
• Ryan’s Wish Foundation -- Provides assistance to families and individuals as they travel to cancer treatment appointments. Recipients receive gifts of gas cards, money for hotel stays, help with regular maintenance of vehicles for travel, funds for medical co- pays and help with medications not covered by insurance. In 2016, Ryan’s Wish helped more than 110 families and distributed more than $36,000 to help with cancer related expenses.
• St. Lawrence Health Initiative’s Cancer Services Program -- Funding received from St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund (SLCCF) will cover the cost of anesthesia for 16 colonoscopies, 4 breast MRI screenings, 10 cervical cancer screenings, mammography for 10 women and will help to cover follow-up diagnostic testing and care for income eligible clients.
• Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley -- Funds are used to provide Palliative Care Case Management cancer patients. Helping cancer patients manage the symptoms of their disease allows them to maximize quality of life.
• Massena Memorial Hospital -- Hosts free monthly Skin Cancer Screenings. MMH will also support the offering of free educational seminars including Colorectal cancer awareness, Melanoma cancer detection and awareness, Ovarian, Uterine and Breast Cancer and lung cancer.
• Canton-Potsdam Hospital – For transportation for residents who were receiving treatment at their facility. Their vehicles dedicated to transporting patients log more than 20,000 miles each year and is used sometimes daily by their patients. In 2017 they will expand opportunities for education for patients and families undergoing treatment, as well as providing items to increase quality of life.
• Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center -- In 2017, CHMC intends to continue its partnership with Dr. Brandy and will provide 8 free colonoscopies. Additionally, they will offer 40 low dose CT lung cancer screenings with the help of the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund.
• Jules of Life Foundation- With funds provided by SLCCF Jules of Life is in the process of creating a website as a comprehensive resource for sources of support locally, regionally and nationally for cancer patients.
The need for these important programs increases daily. Recognizing the necessity for ongoing support, the volunteer committee responsible for organizing the event decided to form a more broad corporation. In 2012, the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund was established with the hope that the community would provide support for the local fight against cancer throughout the year.
Each year on the last Sunday in April the Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life takes place and serves as the primary fundraiser for the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund. In 2016 more than 300 participants came together to support their community and the prevention of cancer in the North Country.
Since learning that the proceeds raised for the Fund stays local, a number of community members and groups have stepped forward to provide additional support. Recently, a memorial giving program was established with area funeral directors giving families who have lost a loved one to cancer the opportunity to remember their loved one by supporting the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund to help with the local fight again cancer.
In October of 2016 the St. Lawrence Professional Equine Group hosted an equine clinic and vendor fair at Loomis Quarter Horse Farm in Waddington. The event drew more than 500 people and helped to raise over $5,000 in support of the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund.
If you would like more information about the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund or The Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life, contact Mark Brackett at 854-5563 or Kellie Hitchman at 244-1801.
Also, visit www.walkrunforlife.com We hope you will join us on Sunday, April 30 at Appleton Arena to help fight the local battle with cancer.