When this all started I couldn’t help but feel like the most helpless person on the planet. There was nothing I could do for my dad. Literally nothing could be done and that didn’t sit right with me. How was it even possible that my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer with no symptoms? How was it even possible that he basically had 2 treatment options available to him? How did it only take 3 months for the disease to take him?
This all happened because pancreatic cancer research is ridiculously underfunded.
Here are some not so fun facts about Pancreatic Cancer. You can find the full PDF here
- Pancreatic Cancer just moved from the fourth to the third leading cause of cancer related death passing Breast Cancer.
- The five-year survival rate is 8%. That means that of all the people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year… 8% of them have a chance to live longer than 5 years.
- In case you were wondering how many people will be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer this year it’s roughly 53,070 people. So with the information from above you can expect MAYBE 4,200 of those people to make it to that 5 year survival mark.
- Pancreatic Cancer symptoms are extremely vague, usually presenting themselves in the form of a back ache, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, or if you’re like my dad a stomach ache.
- Clinical trails are the preferred treatment option.
When my dad decided that he wasn’t going to continue on with chemo anymore (which at that point it was barely an option anyways) we had a family meeting. He decided that he wanted quality over quantity with whatever time he had left and my mom and I respected that. However, I couldn’t respect that that was all I could do. So, I asked my dad if he would mind if I walked in the PurpleStride walk. My father was notorious for not wanting to be the center of attention so I was fully prepared for him to say no. Surprisingly, he said yes. He told me there was nothing I could do for him anymore. That as much as I wanted and wished that I could find a cure for him it wouldn’t happen. That’s why I had to fight for other people. He said if the money I raised doing the walk could help someone else down the road in a similar situation than it was something worth participating in.
So here I am. I’ll be walking the in the Chicago PurpleStride event on 4/30/2016 on Team Papa Z. So far we’ve raised over $11,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan) and we’ve still got 19 days to go. I’ve been lucky enough to be in the top 5 fundraisers since the start (even though I got knocked down to 4th this morning but that’s just the competitive psycho in me) and I’d like to hit my goal of $5,000 soon.
If you’d like to visit my personal donation page please click here.