February 19, 2016
Hello! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my fundraising page for pancreatic cancer awareness. My dad, Jerry James, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on September 10th, 2013 at the young age of 63. For 18 months he fought this terrible disease with incredible strength and courage. He submitted his body to countless rounds of chemo and radiation therapy as well as 2 clinical trials. One week before he was scheduled to have the cancerous tumor removed, his final CT scan showed the cancer had spread to his liver. Seven months later he was gone. During that entire time I never once heard him complain and he spent most of his time worrying about me and my mom. My dad was a kind, soft spoken and gentle man. He didn't deserve this. No one does.
All cancers are jerks. Plain and simple. Yes, pancreatic cancer is very close to my heart for obvious reasons. But there is more to this. See, I am also a healthcare provider. I know the statistics. While pancreatic cancer is only the 12th most common cancer in the world, it is virtually without symptoms until it is in the advanced stage. Meaning that the vast majority of the time once it is diagnosed there is not much that can be done. Within one year of diagnosis, 75% of pancreatic cancer patients die. A measly 5% will make it to 5 years. This has to change.
Most people that know me know that I enjoy swimming, biking and running. In 2012, I did my very first triathlon and in 2014 I finished my one and only Ironman event. Anemic and three days from a chemo treatment dad was at that finish line waiting to see me cross. So I have chosen the Covenant 5k on Saturday, April 2nd in Knoxville Tennessee as the race I will use to honor my dad's strength and to hopefully raise a little money and a whole lot of awareness. I chose this race because the finish is the 50 yard line inside Neyland Stadium and my daddy was quite possibly the biggest Tennessee football fan you would ever meet! So that's my story. I'm running for my dad. To honor his memory and his courage. To find a cure.