Deputies and leadership with the Riverside County Sheriff Department’s Colorado River Station are currently participating in the nationwide “No Shave November” cancer awareness campaign to support the effort’s ongoing mission of raising funds toward research, education, and prevention.

At the mid-way point of November, the Palo Verde Valley’s participating Riverside County Sheriff Department officials have raised $1,558 for cancer charities as part of the campaign.

Following the lead of Sheriff Chad Bianco, members of the county law enforcement agency are putting their razors down for 30 days and accordingly donating the month’s shaving expenses (minimum $50 per) to the cause.

“When you hear the words, ‘you have cancer,’ it is most certainly a life altering and sobering event, and one you will never forget. I heard those daunting words in June of 2013 while vacationing in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. My diagnosis was colon cancer at the age of 46. The following months were uncertain for me and my family because it took some time to determine the seriousness of the cancer and a treatment plan. Immediate surgery was required to remove the tumor. I ended up being extremely lucky because my cancer was discovered relatively early. As such, I was spared from having to endure radiation and/or chemotherapy. To this day, I still get tested and worry that it may someday return. I do my best to live my life to the fullest knowing that life is a precious gift. I make my health a priority by participating in regular check-ups,” stated the Sheriff’s Colorado River Station Commander Capt. David Teets to the Times. “As you can see, I am very open about this part of my life. I love to share my experience with others as a means of educating them on the importance of taking control of your health by having annual check-ups and listening to your body for any odd changes that may be occurring. I have learned that early detection and preventative medicine is the key. I donate to cancer charities whenever I can. During the month of October, the Sheriff’s Department participated in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We were allowed to wear pink shoulder patches on our uniforms for the entire month of October. I proudly wore mine all month long, in honor of those brave women who have battled breast cancer. The purchase of the pink patches raised money for Michelle’s Place. Michelle’s Place is a non-profit organization that provides free services for individuals and families impacted by cancer. Currently, the Sheriff’s Department is participating in ‘No Shave November.’ In order to participate, you must donate at least $50 to a cancer charity of your choice. The men get to grow facial hair and the women can wear bright and colorful fingernail polish for the month of November. So far, my station has raised $1,558 for cancer charities.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 1,658,716 new cases of cancer were reported in 2016 and 598,031 people died in the U.S. of the disease.

The American Cancer Society estimates 1,762,450 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2019, and 606,880 deaths due to the disease.

The top 15 estimated cancer-related deaths (male and female) for the year 2019 are:

Lung and bronchus: 142,670

Colorectum: 51,020

Pancreas: 45,750

Breast: 42,260

Liver and intrahepatic bile duct: 31,780

Prostate: 31,620

Leukemia: 22,840

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: 19,970

Brain and other nervous system: 17,760

Urinary bladder: 17,670

Esophagus: 16,080

Kidney and renal pelvis: 14,770

Ovary: 13,980

Myeloma: 12,960

Uterine corpus: 12,160

While the fatal probability percentage from some cancer diagnoses’ has declined over the decades (with the advances of sciences, medicine, and improved treatments), the importance of underlining early detection, preventative education, and continued research funding remains crucial to persons battling the disease.

It’s a mission to which local law enforcement remain committed to echoing in their respective communities.

“I truly have some of the greatest staff the Sheriff’s Department has to offer. Like me, each and every one of them is kind and caring, and most of them have been touched in one way or another by this awful disease. I absolutely love to see my staff participating in these worthy causes,” stated Teets. “I have watched family, friends, and colleagues battle cancer. Some have been successful in their fight, while others have not been so lucky. In 1988, I watched my 13-year-old brother battle and ultimately die from adolescent brain cancer. Who knew that 25 years later I would face my own battle with cancer. As you can imagine, this was an especially trying time for my mother. Finally, I would encourage everyone reading this article to see your doctor regularly and support causes that bring awareness, provide research, and assistance to cancer-related topics.”

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