Cancer Action Network plans story book

By on October 26, 2011

By: GARY P. KLINGER Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

Pam Kurutz (left), of The Coin Collector stand at the Green Dragon Farmer's Market, stands next to a photo of her brother, who died of cancer, as she signs the story book created by Sharon Susa (right). (Photo by Stan Hall)Pam Kurutz (left), of The Coin Collector stand at the Green Dragon Farmer's Market, stands next to a photo of her brother, who died of cancer, as she signs the story book created by Sharon Susa (right). (Photo by Stan Hall)

It’s a sad fact that cancer has had a tragic impact on everyone’s lives, whether the patient is a friend, a family member or us as individuals. One local group of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network is collecting stories of how cancer has touched our lives.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is a sister organization to the American Cancer Society, concentrating on legislative action at the local, state and national level that will affect cancer survivors, their caregivers, families and friends.

Sharon Susa, ACS CAN, Pennsylvania District 16 lead, is orchestrating the effort.

"As we have all been touched by cancer, we are all included in our representation to our elected officials," explained Susa. "We are organized by federal legislative districts, in Lancaster County, that is Pennsylvania District 16, represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Joe Pitts."

Currently the local group is collecting stories about the impact cancer has had on the patients, their loved ones and their caregivers.

"We would be pleased to hear anyone’s story and very grateful to include it in our group," said Susa. "The main purpose of the book is to add local, personal stories to our request for congressional funding. We are always looking for ways to involve the public with our mission, and you would be surprised how many people do not realize this is another way their tax dollars are spent."

Susa explained that the 2011 ACS CAN campaign is called Celebrate with Action, with the goal to Double the Research, Double the Hope.

"Our original goal was to double funding for cancer research," noted Susa. "We are realistic and understand that keeping funding at its present levels would be a positive outcome in the present economy."

Susa, who has been been involved in the Relay For Life at Norlanco for about seven years, said, "The Celebrate with Action was to begin locally in the late summer and we just pushed it ahead and included it at all four relays in Lancaster County."

Once completed, the books containing stories will be forwarded to Washington for presentation in groups to our locally elected legislators. The group plans to continue to gather the stories for some time to continue raising awareness of the importance of research to end the scourge of cancer.

At present the local ACS CAN volunteer group in Lancaster includes three members who also have the full cooperation of the ACS staff in Lancaster.

"They are wonderful, and of course we are all involved with our local Relay For Life groups, but we would welcome any additional help offered," commented Susa on the challenges presented to the group of volunteers. "We request a membership of $10 per year and have incentives for memberships over $20. I would suggest checking out the web site,, or calling me."

Susa adds that not all cancer related jobs are manned by volunteers. She noted that cancer research in Pennsylvania accounts for about 28,000 jobs, a fact that she cites as another good reason to continue funding.

Those interested in adding their story to the collection may feel free to contact Sharon Susa by callling 484 2014 or sending an e-mail to A copy of the book can also be found at the ACS office in Lancaster on Good Drive for those who would be interested in visiting the office.

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