I've decided to run in the Lincoln marathon for the 2nd year in a row to raise money for Project Purple. (Even though last year I swore I would never run in another marathon.) My father, Gene, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November, 2014. After the diagnosis, Dad remained incredibly positive and decided to go right to attacking the disease.
Most people think of their dad as a hero. I’m certainly no different. It was so impressive watching Dad fight while battling all the weakness and illness associated with chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Now, I know nearly everyone who fights pancreatic cancer has to deal with weakness and illness. But Dad lost both of his legs above the knee due to an aggressive infection that nearly took his life the year before. Getting into a car was a challenge before the cancer diagnosis. Now, making that transfer in and out of his car to go to a treatment that he knew was going to make him feel terrible, seemed downright heroic to me!
Raising money by running for Project Purple, a charity that is determined to end pancreatic cancer, was a way for me to fight along with him. I will forever cherish the memories that I have of my dad and family being in Lincoln, cheering me on last year as I did my little part in helping to fight pancreatic cancer while running my first marathon.
One short year from being diagnosed, in November 2015, we lost Dad to this horrible disease. All cancers are a tragedy, but pancreatic is particularly terrible with how fast it takes our loved ones once they've been diagnosed. Only 20% of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will live one year. Only 6% will be alive after 5 years. More research is badly needed to learn more about this cancer to prolong lives and ultimately find a cure! With that in mind, I can't think of a better way to honor Dad, than by running for Project Purple again.
Last year, we set a goal of raising $1000. We were able to raise $1295, through incredible family and friends generously donating. I thought about those family and friends a lot at about mile 20, when cramps started to set in and I began to wonder why I signed up for this!
This year, a half marathon is all I’m going to be able to do. It’s still humbling remembering everything Dad had gone through. Thinking about what other people, now and in the future, who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will have to go through. What family and friends have to endure watching a loved one battle the disease. It’s an honor to run a few miles and represent these people. Please consider donating whatever you can to this charity.
More about Project Purple:
Project Purple's mission: to beat pancreatic cancer. Our Method: participating in the best road races in the world. The Lincoln Marathon and Half is amaing! This race is at the top of our list for all time favorite marathons, from the warm and welcoming people of Nebraska, the excitement and emergy of the organizers and participants, and the love and support of the Lincoln Track Club. We are so excited and proud to be the official charity of this event for a second year. Our team will be running to support our three programs, listed below.
In the last four years, our charity has provided $500K in grants to top medical centers specializing in the study of pancreatic cancer. We have carefully selected institutions based on the quality of their work and their researchers. Recipients include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center, NYU, and Columbia. Grants have also been awarded to postdoctoral students and professional researchers, to support studies in early detection methods, a cure, and a better understanding of the mysterious and deadly disease.
Patient Financial Aid
Project Purple helps support families and individuals dealing with the financial burden of pancreatic cancer. Patients who are currently battling are given support with medical bills, living expenses, and travel. We also give care packages to patients to provide comfort during hospital visits.
For the past three years, Project Purple has helped undergraduate, graduate, and nursing students achieve their academic goals by providing scholarships. These awards are given to bright, passionate students whose lives have been adversely affected by pancreatic cancer. Many have lost parents or other close relatives to the disease, other had the disease themselves.
For more information about these programs and what you can do to help support our mission, visit us online at www.run4projectpurple.org. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.