My father, Philip L. Holstein, was my hero. My adventure buddy. We did everything together, even in my adult years. Camping, skiing, hiking, father-daughter dates, trips to the Olympics, regular walks to talk about life. We did it all. He was at every sports game, every concert, every graduation, every parent-teacher conference. He was there during breakups and at those tough times growing up. He built every piece of furniture in my apartment, edited all of my essays, taught me how to manage my finances and plan for the future. He showed me how to be an exemplary citizen. A mentor and confidant and leader. He was the most selfless, non-judgmental person I know. He had a thirst for life and appreciation for nature and the world around him that was contagious. Even in the darkest of days, my dad always awoke positive, with hope and a fighter's spirit, grateful for life. Grateful to see the sun rise, hear the loons on our lake, smile at my mom. The little things. He taught me what love is all about.
A few months ago I decided that I needed to do something big in our fight against pancreatic cancer. For a while I'd been trying to figure out how to take my pain and frustration and put it into action. I knew what I had to do and wanted to do. I announced to my dad that I would be hiking all 46 Adirondack High Peaks (which he loved and completed by age 13) to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Just moments before his last breath, I reminded him of my mission. I am very happy to announce today that I will be hiking the "46" in my father's memory and I plan to raise $46,000 in the process. I welcome you to contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to join me for a hike or go on a hike of your own in memory of my dad. I also urge you to contribute. Pancreatic Cancer is an extremely underfunded and deadly disease, and your support would be so greatly appreciated. Below you can learn more. Thank you!
In 2016, pancreatic cancer moved from the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. to the third, surpassing breast cancer. It is estimated that in 2016, 53,070 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and 41,780 will die from the disease. Seventy-one percent of patients will die within the first year of diagnosis. The vast majority of pancreatic cancer cases are diagnosed in late stage. More than half of patients are diagnosed once the disease has metastasized. According to the American Cancer Society, for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the one-year relative survival rate is 20%, and the five-year rate is 7%.