Help Me Fight Pancreatic Cancer!
My sister Connie, whose bone marrow had saved my life five years earlier, lost her life to pancreatic cancer in 1998. Our mom was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a month later and she succumbed to the disease in 2001. Since that time, we have lost friends and loved ones, most recently my good friend Rachel in 2014.
Pancreatic cancer now claims more lives in the US than breast cancer does and far more than other forms of cancer. More than 53,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year in the US alone and more than 43,000 will be lost. That’s 147 and 118 per day! Few know this fact because so few survive pancreatic cancer whereas other forms of cancer produce armies of survivors who lobby – loudly and effectively – for funding and research. Pancreatic cancer isn’t more important than breast or other cancers but there has to be some rational allocation of resources and there simply is not.
The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research is taking matters into their own hands. For 20 years the foundation has served patients and families with information, referrals and various forms of assistance but in 2005 the foundation began providing seed grants directly to pancreatic cancer researchers to accelerate the pace of research. The bulk of thus funds come from the LA Cancer Challenge which the foundation hosts each fall. The foundation has awarded 71 seed grants since 2005 and our seed grant recipients in turn have received $95 million dollars in NIH grants on the basis of that research. Outcomes are improving and patients are living longer but there is still so much more to be done and we have to turn away many more applicants than we are able to fund.
The 20th LA Cancer Challenge (5K/10K/15K and Kiddie K) will take place at UCLA on Sunday, October 29th and it will also be my 20th LA Cancer Challenge. Please join me if you can (team Heather & TEN & Families & Friends) and please consider making a small donation if you can’t.
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