Every American has faced uncertain and challenging times through the pandemic. For the New Yorkers diagnosed with cancer this year, the stakes have been even higher.

Cancer patients, their families and their caregivers need to know we’re still here for them — that the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and its volunteers haven’t stopped advocating for critical research funds and access to health care. I’m proud to have a visible way to raise awareness for cancer and a way to bring hope as we continue to emerge from the pandemic.

ACS CAN’s annual Lights of Hope ceremony is usually held in Washington, D.C., where thousands of lit bags line the Lincoln Memorial, decorated with the names of cancer survivors and those lost to the disease. Because of the pandemic, cancer patients/survivors like myself won’t be traveling to D.C. Instead, we’ll showcase lights of hope this Saturday on our front porches, kitchen tables and front lawns as we bring hope home to communities around the nation. I look forward to displaying Lights of Hope bags in Wilson, on the front lawn of the Wilson House Restaurant & Inn, and bringing this ceremony and powerful message to all those touched by cancer.

If anyone would like to get a Lights of Hope bag, please visit fightcancer.org/lights.

KAREN CONNOR, Wilson, state lead volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

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