WHERE: North Monument Valley Park
WHEN: 9:00AM, April 26th
In 2013, I was a married mother of two daughters who was in excellent health. I had finished a 50k, a 100k and a 100 mile race between the months of April and September. In November, I found out that I had Pancreatic Cancer. I had surgery which removed half of my pancreas and my spleen, followed by 18 rounds of chemotherapy. At the time of my diagnosis, I knew little about Pancreatic Cancer. I remember looking up the statistics for the first time and learning that the overall five-year survival rate is only 6%. I was stunned. My first thought was, “I may not get to see my children grow up. My husband and I have not had enough time together.” I was in shock and afraid.
Through my journey with pancreatic cancer, I have met many amazing people who have been impacted by this disease. The world has lost too many wonderful people to pancreatic cancer. Something has to change. Pancreatic Cancer continues to have the highest overall five year mortality rate of any kind of cancer. Pancreatic Cancer is the only cancer which has not seen an improvement in survival statics over the last several decades. While other cancer rates are dropping, the incidence of pancreatic cancer is increasing. It is projected that by 2020, pancreatic cancer will be the second leading cause of cancer deaths. We desperately need more funding for research to reverse these deadly trends. It has become my mission in life to make a difference for others who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I dream of the day when we will have effective treatments, or even a cure, for Pancreatic Cancer.
I am a runner. I was a runner prior to my diagnosis, I ran through my treatments and I finished a 50 mile race three months after completing chemotherapy. I know from personal experience that runners are people with generous hearts who want to make the world a better place. Please join me April 26th for Tonia’s Run to Beat Pancreatic Cancer. This 5k will be raising funds for Project Purple, a charity dedicated to providing funding for pancreatic cancer research as well as for patience financial assistance. I do not want any other family to face the fear that ours faced. Please help make my dream of finding a cure become a reality.