Helping others helps ourselves

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cancer is a horrible disease.

I can attest to that personally after losing both of my grandparents to cancer. It is a disease that does not discriminate – striking man, woman or child at any time.

And it’s up to us all to do what we can to eradicate it. Saturday, I watched as a huge group of people worked to help ease the burden of one local family coping with the disease and its effects.

Along with my three children, my mother, my best girlfriend and her son, I watched as 50 or so crazy people donned wet suits and braved freezing cold temperatures for a great cause – the 2010 Cancer Freeze – while we sat huddled in blankets enjoying hot chocolate and chili on the shores of Florala’s Lake Jackson.

Organized by Caleb Davidson, the annual event raised $5,000 for cancer victim Caitlin “Caitie” Rhodes.

It was an awesome experience to see that many people come together for a singular purpose – to help our fellow man, or in this case, teenage girl. I even heard there was a seven-layer chocolate cake baked by a local bakery that raised $60 by its sweet little lonesome.

To me, that’s a fine example of stepping up to the plate, just as groups at LBW Community College are going to bat for Saints baseball player and Florala resident T.J. Fleming.

Fleming was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer of the saliva gland and is the latest in a long line of local residents battling this horrible disease.

For those who might have missed Saturday’s opportunity to lend a helping hand, there are a multitude of upcoming events.

Tonight, LBW will host the first of two benefits for Fleming. The “Miss Cupid” womanless beauty pageant, sponsored by LBW’s Student Government Association, will feature a plethora of “femme fatales” beginning tonight at 7 p.m. in the Dixon Theater

Admission is $3.

Saturday, a benefit concert featuring Rusty Adams and The One Shot Band begins at 2 p.m. will be held during the Saints’ double header against Faulkner State Community College. Game attendance is free, beginning at noon for the first game and 3 p.m. for the second game at the Crum Foshee Baseball Field behind the gym.

They will even have food available.

Donations will be accepted, and all money raised will be donated back to the Fleming family to help with treatment expenses.

I personally know the Fleming family and have been in similar situation with back and forth trips to Birmingham and spending a ton of money on gas, food and hotel rooms. It gets hard.

That money, any money, helps.

I found a quote somewhere that has stuck with me, “In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.”

Or as we Southerners like to say, “What comes around goes around.”

Remember one day, it could be you or me on the receiving end.