Julia Valenziano wrote -
Pancreatic cancer is the 4th most deadly cancer, yet receives the least funding of the Top 10 cancers. It is also the only cancer of the Top 10 to have just a single digit survival rate after 5 years.
This is not acceptable.
I’ve never run more than three miles, but was inspired to run the Philadelphia Love Half Marathon when my family’s life was changed. In August my dad, Carl, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has been fighting like hell ever since. He is a trauma surgeon, but within a few months has gone from saving the lives of others, to fighting for his own. He is a strong influence in my life, and we share a passion for traumatic brain injury research, fishing, and road trips.
Carl loves joking around and building in his workshop. His current project is building wooden rocking horses and he will start a woodworking class in January. Everyday he continues to push through the treatments, however it has made life more difficult. My dad’s determination has motivated me to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.
Cancer can tear apart a family’s financial stability and ruin the small comforts that were once just daily routines. For this reason I joined the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Project Purple. It raises money for financial aid to support families who struggle to support themselves. So what exactly is Project Purple? Project Purple has people like me running all over the country in various marathons raising awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer.
How does Project Purple distribute the funds they raise? First, they offer a Scholarship Program providing education grants to children and grandchildren who have lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer. Second, the organization provides patient financial-aid to families in need to help with daily bills such as mortgage, rent, and utilities due to a financial hardship caused by pancreatic cancer. And third, Project Purple donates money to hospitals for pancreatic cancer research, as well as two $10,000 research grants a year for post-grad students proposing research into pancreatic cancer.
I will be running the Philadelphia Love Half Marathon on March 29th, 2015. I was a gymnast from age three all the way through college and have cracking joints, two surgeries, and arthritis in both feet to show for it. But if my dad is fighting through this, I can run this race for him and all the families battling pancreatic cancer.
How can you help? Please make a donation to Project Purple, online or by check. To donate online visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/doingit4dad/fundraiser/jvalenziano. If you would like to opt out of the extra fee, click “Get 100% of Your Donation to Charity.” Another way to be sure 100% of your donation goes to Project Purple is to send a check payable to Project Purple, and mail to Julia Valenziano, 2112 Chancellor Street, Apt. 3, Philadelphia, PA 19103. All donations are tax deductible. Every donation means the world to me. Too many people have lost loved ones to this horrible cancer. You can help change that by supporting Project Purple and donating toward a cure for pancreatic cancer. Please consider helping out my fundraiser and supporting Project Purple.