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By Suzanne Rose
For the Salisbury Post
For the past four years, Carillon Assisted Living has held an event called Duck Days Races for a Cure in May. The festivities take place in the front parking lot of our facility on Mooresville Road, and all profits go to The American Cancer Society. This year’s event is May 14.
The event “piggybacks” off of the Rowan County Relay for Life (held the night before at the fairgrounds) and features wacky duck races down water flumes, prizes, food, crafts, home businesses and yard sale vendors. Table spaces are free of charge, but each participant is asked to make a donation of their choice at the end of the morning.
This year, Relay for Life and Duck Days have taken on a whole new meaning at Carillon. Throughout the years, many residents and family members have lost their battles with cancer. Some are still battling the disease, and even more are considered survivors. But little is ever mentioned about how the disease affects our staff. We have all been touched by this disease in one way or another, and there are many survivors amongst us.
The past six months, however, have been exceptionally difficult. In late 2010, our beloved resident care director was diagnosed with breast cancer.
A longtime med tech had to go on permanent disability in order to deal with cervical cancer and heart issues complicating her pregnancy.
More than one member of our staff had cancer scares, enduring weeks of tests and waiting before finding out that, thankfully, that they did not have the disease.
Then, in early 2011, cancer hit home personally for me. I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of melanoma, and my life changed forever.
My family and I have dealt with several devastating medical issues over the past few years. Throughout that time, I have often heard countless cancer patients say that cancer changed their lives forever. Many claim that it changed them for the better. I’ve personally witnessed that change in friends and family members.
Now, I am one of those people. While my situation could be far worse, this is a battle I will fight for the rest of my life. More importantly, it is a battle that I will fight for all cancer patients.
The love generated from our Carillon family has been incredible. All of us affected by this disease are keenly aware of how fortunate we are to have such a tremendous support network. For that reason, we decided to step up our fundraising efforts this year and form a Relay for Life team, and we hope to make this the most profitable Duck Days event ever.
Please support those who have lost a loved one to cancer, as well as the many survivors who will be a part of the 2011 Duck Day Races for a Cure.
Visit Carillon Assisted Living of Salisbury on May 14 from 8 a.m. until noon and see how excited we are to be a part of the tremendous movement to eradicate cancer.
For those who would like to set up vendor or yard sale tables, there is no cost for space. All we ask is that you make a donation of your choice to Relay for Life or the American Cancer Society.
For more information or to reserve vendor space, contact us at 704-633-4666, or email me at suzanne.rose@carillonassistedliving.com.
One person can make a difference, but many working together can move mountains. Cancer is not a sentence, it is a word. Together, we can make that word a thing of the past.
Suzanne Rose is marketing/admissions director of Carillon Assisted Living of Salisbury.

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