BENEFITING: PROJECT PURPLE
ORGANIZER: PROJECT PURPLE
EVENT DATE: Nov 03, 2013
My name is Claire Sanderson and I'm running the NYC Marathon for Project Purple for my grandma, Margaret Bingham, who passed away last May from fighting a long, hard battle with pancreatic cancer.
My grandma was a wonderful person, funny and full of life and had so many friends at her bingo club. She loved to knit, and the sweaters I have from her are still the warmest I've ever known. She adored tigers and had a mad passion for Liverpool Football Club. She doted on her grandchildren, always around for Katie, little Michael and myself whenever we needed a hug, a call or a plate of her famous Lancashire Hot Pot!
Grandma became very sick in 2010, losing weight rapidly, unable to keep any food in her body. She was diagnosed with and treated for many illnesses, but her symptoms wore on, and doctors were baffled. Finally, after being rushed into hospital after the Christmas of 2011 when I last saw her, Grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2012. Due to the amount of time it took to diagnose, the cancer had spread and become untreatable. I was studying in New York at the time and due to next return to England for a week after I graduated in June and I was reassured by my family that Grandma would still be around then, However, I took a chance and used my spring break vacation in March 2012 to come back to England to see her again. She was very sick, but still laughing and joking, watching game shows on TV and talking to the screen. I returned to New York and finished school, getting regular updates from my family. The day after I finished my final classes, my mum called me to tell me that my lovely, strong Grandma had passed away and was no longer in pain. The Liverpool FC anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" was played at her funeral.
Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose as it presents with the same symptoms as stomach flu. There are very few treatment options available. It took two years to diagnose my Grandma, and she was suffering for the whole time. This is UNACCEPTABLE. More needs to be done to research this cancer, which has a 3% survival rate longer than 5 years.
A marathon is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Pancreatic cancer is hereditary, so I am running for my Grandma, but also for my family's future.
Pancreatic Cancer is the 4th largest killer of all cancers and the least funded of the top 10 cancer killers today. We need to do more - we have lost one too many friends, family and loved ones to this evil cancer.