Cancer is still in the top five leading causes of death for Americans, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s data for 2007, the most recent, complete statistics available. Cancer is number two on the top 10 list, just behind heart disease and way ahead of stroke and chronic respiratory disease. Cancer accounted for 562,875 deaths of the 2,423,712 deaths in 2007 in the U.S., or approximately 20 percent, according to the CDC.
Heather Marvin, volunteer for the Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance, said she does not know one person who has not had to come in contact with the disease, personally or through a loved one, colleague or friend.
One way the public can help cancer patients and their families is by donating to the ESBCA. The organization will be holding its annual fun run and walk next Saturday to raise much-needed funds that are distributed to local patients. ESBCA has distributed about $250,000 to patients in its 11-year history.
Cancer has wide-ranging and long-term effects aside from the possibility of death. Many stories have been told locally about how cancer and its treatments can cause the loss of jobs and prevent patients from carrying out their normal, everyday responsibilities. One local woman had to give up guardianship of her son because she could no longer take care of him.
There is also the financial toll of losing a job, or losing the energy to work full-time between surgeries, chemo- and radiation therapies and the time needed to recover from the treatments.
The ESBCA is a local resource center for cancer patients, not just breast cancer, but of the more than 200 different types of cancer that afflict men, women, the young and old alike. ESBCA’s most common contribution is monetary, helping people keep the lights on in their homes, or gasoline in their vehicles for traveling to treatments.
But to do this service, the organization needs money. It is the recipient of various fundraising efforts such as the California High School Rodeo Association Finals held in Bishop in June that donates gate proceeds from one day to the ESBCA. This year the group was picked by local radio stations KIBS/KBOV to receive the proceeds from its raffle ticket sale at the Tri-County Fair. The raffle ticket donation came to an exact $3,000. The biggest fundraiser of the year for the ESBCA is its annual fun run and walk, open to the public including well-behaved canines.
The 11th Annual ESBCA 5K Walk and 10K Fun Run will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at Bishop City Park.
Pre-Registration guarantees a T-shirt and is available through by Monday, Oct. 10, or at a special registration event being held Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Northern Inyo Hospital from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Registration forms are also available online at www.esbca.org  or at the following locations in Bishop:
Curves; IMACA; Head Start; The Inyo Register; Giggle Springs Too; Northern Inyo Hospital; Sierra Saddlery & Feed; Cerro Coso College; WIC; VFW Post 8988; Manor Market; Wye Road Feed and Supply; ESBCA Resource Center; High Country Lumber; Elks Lodge No. 1603; Bishop Chamber of Commerce; Spellbinders Books; Black Sheep Expresso Bar; BUHS Guidance Office; Choices; Anne Marie’s; Rusty’s Saloon & Grill; Dusty’s Pets; Mac’s Sporting Goods; McMurray’s Sports Bar and Grill.
Registration can also be made the day of the race starting at 7:30 a.m. For more information, call (760) 872-3811.