This past weekend, I participated with my family & friends in the Purple Ride, a fundraiser bicycle ride to raise money for research, advocacy, community outreach and patient services for those with Pancreatic Cancer through the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
This year’s Purple Ride had an amazing turnout with over 1,700 participants, who in total helped raise over $430,000. It was especially amazing to see and hear from survivors of the disease at the closing ceremony and watch the ribbons saying ‘Know it, Fight it, End it’ become connected in the crowd.
When I reached out for support and donations to family, friends, and coworkers the response I received was overwhelming. It seems that more and more people know someone who’s been affected by this disease. For me and my family, it means so much that we can build awareness and help fund the fight for a cure.
Why I became Involved
Unforunately, this disease has already affected me and my family on a very personal level. A couple of years ago, we lost my aunt Lynne to Pancreatic Cancer and nearly 22 years before that we also lost my Grandfather.
My family and friends chose to ride in honor of these family members, but also in honor of the nearly 45,000 of Americans that will be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer this year. Given my family history with this disease, both my own and my immediate family’s risk of developing it has increased significantly. My cousin, Bre Hagen, along with her sisters Rayne and Leah, have chosen to become even more involved with this cause, and Bre has taken on the duty of the Twin Cities Volunteer Chair & Coordinator.
Surprising Facts about Pancreatic Cancer
I have come to learn that Pancreatic Cancer has the lowest survival rate of any cancer at just 6%, yet it is the “most under-funded, under-recognized and least-studied of all major cancer killers with only 2% of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget dedicated to pancreatic cancer research.” (source: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network) The reality of this disease is that 73% of patients will die in the first year of diagnosis.
It has also become known as “The Silent Disease.” The symptoms are not usually present in early stages and many patients have advanced disease by the time it becomes noticeable to the patient and doctors; when symptoms do present themselves, they are often vague and can vary greatly depending upon location in the body.
Despite the serious threat of Pancreatic Cancer, I am optimistic about the future when I attend an event like the Purple Ride. I realize how much the movement is building and I am grateful to share my story and help do what I can to raise awareness.
What you can do to Help
- Spread the word about Pancreatic Cancer; help build awareness with your coworkers, family, and friends. Share the Facts
- Support local & national events; find a way to volunteer, donate, or participate. Get Involved
- Learn about the risk factors and help try and prevent this disease. Learn More
Learn More about the Purple Ride and Donate here.
Read & Share stories about Pancreatic Cancer – Know it, Fight it, End it!
All statistics & research provided by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.