Fighting Cancer A Community Effort

The Mississippi Department of Health says there are roughly 13,000 new cancer diagnoses every year in Mississippi.

More than 6,000 people die from cancer in the state every year. About a a third of those deaths, roughly 2,000, will be from lung cancer.

Cancer awareness has been the theme of numerous events over the last couple of weeks in Meridian during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Two more events were held Friday, including one at Trustmark Bank downtown. The event was designed to remember employees and their family members who've battled cancer.

"We have cancer survivors right here in our bank, and we've all of course lost some our family and friends to cancer," said Billy Estes of Trustmark Bank. "So we wanted to kick this week off, try to raise money for breast cancer awareness, and help out any way we can."

Among other things, the bank had each of its branches take part in a competition to decorate their buildings for breast cancer awareness.

Jeff Anderson Cancer Center is getting help in its ongoing fight against cancer.

Organizers of the annual "Rally for a Cure" presented a check for $1,000 to the Cancer Benevolence Fund. Center officials say the money is needed now more than ever.

"With the economy the way it is, now we see more patients that have a need than just a year ago didn't have the need," said Ginny Ruffin of Jeff Anderson Regional Center Center.

"We know that there are patients who need help," said Suzanne Todd, Rally for a Cure organizer. "We know that there are patients without insurance. We know the medicine is high. So, it's important for us to help some who are not as fortunate."

The donated money will be used to help pay for gas, medicine and breast prosthesis for people who cannot afford the costs.

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