Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wage Hope: The Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer

Wage Hope!
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents Twitter

November 13 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day.  It's a time to raise awareness about this deadly disease by wearing purple.  I hope that it will spark a conversation because quite frankly, more needs to be done in fighting pancreatic cancer.

Right now the five year survival rate is just six percent.  That blows my mind.  It's a hard disease to detect and once it's found it's often too late.  The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network hopes to double survival rates by 2020. They have just over five years to do that.  Raising awareness about the disease and funding research is critical.  Even still, 12 percent is still a long way from 100, but it's a step in the right direction.

The late Patrick Swayze
We've seen well known celebrities like Patrick Swayze, Steve Jobs, and Luciano Pavarotti bravely battle, but ultimately die from pancreatic cancer.  I have a personal connection to the disease.  In late 2001 my Aunt Rita was diagnosed with it.  She put up a good fight, but sadly we lost her in January 2002.  She was only 52 years old.
Grandma, mom, and Aunt Rita in 1980 something
Not only was Rita my aunt, she was also my Godmother.  She was always soft spoken and very loving to both me and my brother. We'd spend time with her and my uncle and cousins every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and various family birthdays. When we were younger there were camping trips and adventures to Silver Dollar City.

When I hear the news of someone being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I think of Aunt Rita.  I remember the sadness we all felt when she passed away and how I wish there was no such thing as cancer.  But here's the deal, cancer exists.  Sweet, loving, and caring people, even little kids will die from it.  But there are many survivors too.  We have to talk more about all types of cancer and help the men and women working toward a cure.  Without the hope that one day six percent will double and gradually climb, we have nothing.  I encourage you to wear purple on November 13 and support the cause monetarily if you're able.

Here are a few other resources on pancreatic cancer:
Walk With The Dogs
The American Cancer Society
The Purple Page

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