ONE PERCENT–only 1% of Pancreatic Cancer patients at Stage IV will survive over 5 years after diagnosis. Only 1% of people with the disease will be with their families for 5 more years. This disease is extremely deadly, and a diagnosis is essentially a death sentence. Knowing the severity of their situation, patients and families join together for support and comfort during this painful process.
“We’re not raising funds, we’re raising awareness” said Andres Tejidor, the president of the Purple Light Foundation. The foundation works towards educating and assisting people affected by pancreatic cancer. One of the fundamental problems with the development of a treatment is that very few people are aware of the disease. “I think that its not well talked about” said Karen Chambers, wife of a pancreatic cancer victim. Pancreatic cancer, despite being one of the most deadly cancers, is not nearly as well publicized as breast cancer or lung cancer.
“I come from a family that has always volunteered,” said Anita Marks, the sister of a pancreatic cancer victim. Most of the volunteers are survivors or family members of those who have lost their battle. These people know more than anyone else how painful it can be to watch a loved one quickly lose their health. The event serves as an opportunity for grieving families to find comfort and understanding from other families that are suffering through the same troubles.
The event concludes with a name reading ceremony to commemorate those who have lost their lives after battling this deadly disease. The families of these victims will break a purple glowstick as a recognition of their struggle. Tragically, the disease has no reliable cure, making treatment a hit-or-miss process that can be painful and exhausting. Medical research and testing will eventually rid the world of this horrible cancer, but at least for now, the list of names remains long.