TYLER (KYTX) - The American Cancer Society is in desperate need of volunteers to help with an important long-term study.
The society is looking for cancer-free volunteers to help the next generation avoid a life and death struggle with the disease.
"I had a cousin who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She passed away a couple of years ago," said Mona Taylor.
Mona Taylor signed up for the cancer prevention study as soon as she heard about it.
Cancer runs in her family. She wants to help make sure it doesn't continue.
"Once you have done that and you see them in their last stages, it's just very, very emotional," explained Taylor.
The American Cancer Society is looking for men and women of all races between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer.
Participants must be willing to have their lifestyles studied, and habits tracked for the next 20 years, to help doctors figure out why some people get cancer and others don't.
"The study is really looking at lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that could cause or prevent cancer," said Jana Kindle, Relay for Life specialist.
Right now, the American Cancer Society in Tyler has more than 230 volunteers signed up to take part in the study.
But, they say, they could really use 400 to get all the data they need.
"If they had been exposed to something or if they had something genetically inherited...would that be a link to cancer? That's what they're trying to find," explained Kindle.
For Mona, who's seen the effect of the disease on her family members, she hopes she can help find a cure one day.
"I just feel like that by my participating in this, I will be able to help unlock the mystery behind cancer," said Taylor.