Every day, 1,500 Americans die from cancer. Because about 40 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with some form of cancer, I can assume that you have been touched or will be touched by this terrible disease.

I have.

In the last year, both my mother and a close friend were diagnosed with cancer. My mother is doing well. My friend is at M.D. Anderson in Houston undergoing intensive treatment to save her life.

I’m not a doctor, but I want to get involved in the fight against cancer. THE MARCH is giving me that opportunity.

THE MARCH is a grassroots movement bringing together cancer survivors, friends and family members and the many cancer organizations across this country. It is an awareness campaign culminating with a rally on The Mall in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26, 1998.

The goal of this gathering is to demand a commitment for greater funding for cancer research and increased access to quality care for all people with cancer.

Here in Dallas, many organizations are using their own “regularly-scheduled” events to promote the mission of THE MARCH. The American Cancer Society, Baylor University Medical Center, Leukemia Society of America and Weekend to Wipe Out Cancer are just some of the local groups involved in this campaign.

As a volunteer for these agencies, you can distribute T-shirts at races, host health fairs and make presentations in schools. You can answer questions over the phone or send information to patients and family members.

On Sept. 25, the eve of THE MARCH, these organizations will join cancer survivors and supporters for a candlelight vigil Downtown. You can be there, too.

For more information, call 1-800-THE-MARCH. To find out how you can become involved locally, call the Volunteer Center of Dallas County at 214-826-6767.