For years I was a big fan of the Susan G. Komen Relay for Life, spending hours fundraising and attending the ‘Race for a Cure’ for cancer. I’m not a fan anymore. I still work on cancer issues, but with a much different lens.

I’m, technically, a cancer survivor. The slash across my neck is unfortunately not due to an amazing bar fight, but to a round with melanoma. More important than my personal history though, I’m a witness to family and friends fighting, sometimes surviving, and many times leaving young children behind.

A ‘race for a cure’ is us believing that the self-same corporations that manufacture toxins that Cause cancer will have our interests at heart when they make a silver bullet ‘cure’. Zeneca is the largest global corporation making carcinogenic pesticides and plastics, Dupont makes carcinogenic Teflon, General Electric was caught dumping PCBs into rivers. That’s just a few of the corporations who make big money off of cancer treatments and cures, (whether from cancer-fighting pharmaceuticals or from the equipment). Why would I fundraise for them to do ‘research’?

So here’s my proposal: let’s have a ‘Race for Prevention’ push that’s just as funded, attended, and organized as any other cancer fund-raising, if not more. I don’t equate prevention with early diagnoses, because as a recently widowed friend succinctly said: “Early detection just means you’re already halfway to dying”. I mean real prevention, like pesticide-free school grounds, styrofoam-free coffee shops, real incentives for more Organic food production, and so much more.

Woah, woah, that would have to be really comprehensive! Exactly. If we’re pouring fundraising and time into something that might cure (or prevent cancer in) our loved ones, don’t we want it to work? Plus, cancer research in a lab somewhere doesn’t improve our overall quality of life as much as general toxic-free strategies do.

Along that vein, you’re invited to a great training offered by L.E.A.D. Agency in identifying and eliminating the biggest hazard in our backyard, lead toxicity. Lead is implied in cancer but hits hard in smaller doses as learning disabilities, concentration & mood disorders, and mental illness. To me, that’s way more tragic than simple cancer anyway. Training is FREE, July 20th, 1-5pm at the L.E.A.D. Agency office at 223 A St. SE in Miami. Race you there!

–Kelda Lorax and her husband Nick run Stardust Market Garden, a small organic farm on the edge of Fairland, and the Fairland Farmer’s Market. Kelda also holds a 4-year seat on the Fairland City Council.