My mom, Sandy Mayer, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the end of September 2016, and it took less than four months from diagnosis to her being gone. Sandy was an incredible woman who seemed to think her purpose in life was to make sure everyone else was taken care of. Her home was always a beacon of warmth and welcome for her friends, her children’s friends, and often times, for strangers who needed a friend in a new place. She worked tirelessly to make sure her family was taken care of and spent the last several years ensuring her parents were always looked after and loved in their final years. After so many years, Mom was finally at a place in her life where she was looking forward to having time with my father (she died 6 months short of their 50th anniversary) to travel, enjoy the kids and grandkids, and all those other things that happen when you're ready to stop working and enjoy life. That decision was made a month before the diagnosis; her loss has been devastating to me, our family, and our whole community. I (and my wife) want to run in her honor, raising money in hopes of helping others avoid what she had to endure and the aftermath we (her family and community) have to live through.
The last thing Mom would ever want would be for her death to be the end of her story. I’ll be honest, I’ve never really wanted to run a marathon; running that far seems like a whole lot of mental and physical pain. But after watching what Mom went through and knowing she, even in her final moments, was still somehow the stronger one of the two of us, well, what I’ll go through will be nothing in comparison. Her death may be the impetus of me doing this, but it is in celebration of her life that I can contribute to something that will help so many others.
My wife, Nicole, and I are calling ourselves Team Super Troppers, a name created humorously by Mom back when I was 7 years old (a fortuitous typo in the shirt she had made for me supplied decades of laughter, and though she offered to reprint it spelled correctly, I couldn't imagine a more apporopriate name for us to be running under -- she was the real Super Tropper).
A bit about the organization we are running to support: This year pancreatic cancer surpassed breast cancer and became the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It is more important than ever that we continue to work hard towards reversing this trend. Our mission at Project Purple is to find a cure for pancreatic cancer and to improve the lives of patients through support, hope, and compassion. The money raised for Project Purple helps us fulfill our mission statement by funding several crucial programs. Project Purple provides funding for critical pancreatic cancer research. Thanks to our donors we are helping fund research for an early detection test for pancreatic cancer. There is currently no form of early detection for this deadly form of cancer. The best odds at survival come when the disease is caught in its earliest stages. We also fund studies which seek effective methods to treat this deadly disease. Finally, we offer grants to graduate students who are pursuing a career in pancreatic cancer research. We at Project Purple also recognize there are patients who are fighting pancreatic cancer right now and they need our help. Project Purple assists current patients through our Patient Financial Aid program. We also provide patients with Blankets of Hope Care Bags. We believe no one should this battle on their own. Though the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer stands at just 9%, we know that with your help we can make our vision of a world without pancreatic cancer a reality! http://www.projectpurple.org