Why do I harangue my friends year after year?
It's been 23 years since Liz's sister and mom were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer -- Heather was diagnosed five years later -- and in that time the incidence of pancreatic cancer has more than doubled from 29,000 new cases in 1998 to more than 60,000 new cases this year. We have made progress in fighting the disease but survival rates remain largely a matter of one-year, two-year and five-year survival and the growth of the disease has steadily outstripped those gains such that pancreatic deaths are up 80% over the same period.
A dozen of us have lost family members to pancreatic cancer and dozens more of us have lost dear friends, capped by Lisa Knight a couple years ago and Walter Koch just last year.
Pancreatic cancer is a vicious and unforgiving disease and we need to marshal everything we can to combat it. Only research will change the needle on pancreatic cancer and we parcel the proceeds of this event into seed grants that go directly to pancreatic cancer researchers, sowing their seeds of innovation, so please join me -- join us -- in memory of those we have lost and in honor of those we have yet to meet.
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