BENEFITING: Marc Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
EVENT DATE: Nov 02, 2014
Have you lost someone to pancreatic cancer? Chances are you have. I’ve lost four really special people. Let me introduce them.
Don was a student in my aerobics class. He joined to get fit and after a year or so, he was taking my class four nights a week. And then he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had the Whipple surgery, got into remission and came back to class. He actually thanked me as they would not have done the surgery if he weren’t in such good shape. I was honored to have a part but told him he needed to thank himself for coming to class consistently. In the years I knew him, he gave me such great life advice. One evening, I noticed his face had a yellow twinge. I asked him gently how he was doing. He said “they want to plant me, but I’m still here”. Two weeks later, we lost Don. Don, I think of you often and in my heart, you are still here.
Pauline was a colleague whom I had the honor of knowing for only a short time. She had such great faith and showed me how to live my faith. When Larry, whom I’ll introduce later, became ill, Pauline prayed with me. We didn’t know then but pancreatic cancer would take her life before it took Larry’s.
Mary was one of our runners, always positive and encouraging. She battled pancreatic cancer with such a positive attitude. I’ll always admire her courage and learned from her strength.
Larry was a very special person who made a difference in so many people’s lives including mine. He was one of the most loving, caring, intelligent and funny people I’ve ever met. He was there for me through the most difficult time in my life, and truly, I would not be where I am today if it were not for his gentle guidance and support. His last words to me were “You know I’m your biggest supporter”. Yes, Larry I know that and I feel your presence in my life every day. When I see a seagull facing the wind, I know you are here. I’m running the NYC marathon in honor of Larry starting in his hometown Brooklyn and finishing in Manhattan, the site of his distinguished career.
Pancreatic cancer has affected so many lives… Let’s find a cure.