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American Cancer Society continues to fight to overcome cancer

The American Cancer Society continues to fight to find a way to defeat cancer. Today a community spirited event was held to fight cancer.
The American Cancer Society continues to fight to find a way to defeat cancer. Today a community spirited event was held to fight cancer.
Photo by Professor Metze

Shannon Selzer enthusiastically waved her sign as customers stopped by the American Cancer Society Gambrills office on a beautiful day today. The sign was an invitation for people to stop and shop and make a donation to fight cancer.

Shannon Selzer holds up the sign for the fight to end cancer
Photo by Professor Metze

“I love our mission. We are supporting our mission by taking donations for cancer research,” Selzer was not alone. A mother carried her daughter on her back across a wooden bridge to get to the event and Selzer was joined by Pam Sherbia.

Sherbia is the Office Coordinator for the American Cancer Society Gambrills Office and as her title indicates she coordinated the sales event with Selzer, the Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator for American Cancer Society. “I represent the very people that the American Cancer Society strives to help. I survived hearing the diagnosis of having cancer. I am an overcomer. I enjoy helping others who are on the cancer journey,” Sherbia said.

Sherbia never used the word victim. A victim means the battle is over. Sherbia believes that her cancer was a battle and she was a fighter. And she won the battle. She believes in the word overcomer. She believes cancer fighters can overcome the attack.

Her wisdom matches that of James Earl Metze, Sr., who was also a cancer fighter and fought the battle with grace and dignity until his death in 1990. Nick Farano, the Distinguished Events Specialist, joined Pam Sherbia, Shannon Selzer, Area Manager India Breckenridge, in encouraging customers to support the research work of the American Cancer Society.

Farano is an 8 year cancer survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He shared Sherbia’s philosophy and agreed that all cancer patients are in a battle for their lives. “It is important for us to come together as one unified force to finish the fight against cancer,” Farano said.

The recent noble decision by CVS/pharmacy to ban the sale of cigarettes has been a cause for hope and praise among cancer fighters all over the nation. “The American Cancer Society congratulates CVS Caremark on its decision to stop the sale of tobacco products in all of its stores. This move is an important new development in the fight to save lives from the devastating effects of tobacco use.

The landmark 1964 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health marked the beginning of a national, and now global, effort to end the tobacco epidemic. Society-funded research, public education campaigns, and advocacy efforts over more than 50 years have helped reduce the smoking rate by more than half, from 42 percent in 1964 to 18 percent today, and saved more than 8 million lives from tobacco.

But there’s a lot more to do. More than 43 million people in America still smoke and tobacco will cause an estimated 480,000 deaths this year in the U.S. If smoking persists at its current rate among young adults in this country, 5.6 million Americans younger than 18 years old alive today will die prematurely from a smoking-related illness,” said American Cancer Society CEO John R. Seffrin.

The sentiments of the CEO have been shared by thousands of readers who applauded the news of the ban when first reported by the day before the story appeared in newspapers around the nation.

Events like the event in Gambrills take place in local communities across the metro region and are seldom reported by major news organizations. It was a small, local, event; however, the desire to fight cancer and to serve spokespersons for the national battle against cancer was just as strong as a million voices.

To volunteer to serve in the battle against cancer contact Shannon Selzer, Volunteer Coordinator, at To learn more about the Gambrills American Cancer Society office contact Pam Sherbia, Office Coordinator, 1041 MD Rte 3 N, Bldg A1, Gambrills, MD 21054 or call 410-721-4304.

This article is written in memory of James Earl Metze, Sr., and James Earl Metze, Jr., who both lost their battle to cancer. It is dedicated to Principal Linda Lacot, dear friend of two decades, and cancer "overcomer" this year!

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