Kimberly Woythaler





Help me Wage Hope!

When my dad, Mark Meyers, was sick, people asked again and again how they can help. If they can do anything. If we need anything. Thankfully, luckily, we had things more or less under control. I am very thankful that my family has such a strong support system surrounding us, propping us up.

But there is something ya'll can do. You guys can join me in raising some funds to help end this horrible, hopeless cancer. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers out there yet one of the least researched or fundraised. As we found out first hand, they don't know very much. Here is what the
-An estimated 46,420 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S., and over 39,590 will die from the disease.
-Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over nearly 40 years.
-Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.
-Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis – only 6% will survive more than five years. 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.
-The average life expectancy after diagnosis with metastatic disease is just three to six months.
-Pancreatic cancer may cause only vague symptoms that could indicate many different conditions within the abdomen or gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include pain (usually abdominal or back pain), weight loss, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), loss of appetite, nausea, changes in stool, and diabetes.
-Treatment options for pancreatic cancer are limited. Surgical removal of the tumor is possible in less than 20% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Chemotherapy or chemotherapy together with radiation is typically offered to patients whose tumors cannot be removed surgically.
-Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death largely because there are no detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible.
-The National Cancer Institute (NCI) spent an estimated $105.3 million on pancreatic cancer research in 2012. This represented a mere 1.8% of the NCI’s approximate $5.8 billion cancer research budget for that year.
Source for statistics: American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Figures 2014 and NCI Annual Plan & Budget Proposal For Fiscal Year 2012.
So I'm going to do what little I can to help to raise some funds. I had to sit on the bench, watching my Dad wither away, completely helpless. There was nothing I, or anyone, could do. My family is participating in the PurpleStride 5k Run and Walk organized by the Pancreatic Action Network. This is how I'm getting into the game. This is something I can do. We can all do.
The event is Saturday, September 23rd. I would really like to see as many people as possible come out and join us. You don't have to be a superstar athlete. You don't even have to be an athlete. It's 3.1 miles long. Run it, walk it. Have someone push you in a wheelbarrow. Push a stroller. Have someone push you in a stroller. Cheer for us on the sidelines. However you choose to participate will be greatly appreciated.
We are doing this in the memory of my Dad and have a team that I'm pretty sure he would be proud of. Even though the man himself would have never, ever participated in something like this. This would be one of those time were he would send my mom, sister and I off while he stayed home and grilled a big, celebratory dinner. That was his style. We have formed Team Cigars and Tiki Bars after two of his favorite ways to kick back and relax. I'm hoping that we really make a presence at this walk and have set a pretty lofty goal of $5000 to raise as a team.
If running or walking isn't your scene or can't make it out for the day, you can make a donation to help the team reach our fundraising goal by clicking the same link. Either way, your support will be very much appreciated. 
Hope to see you guys out there in September!
For more information about the Pancreatic Cancer Action and their mission to advance research, support patients, and create hope you can check out their website at 
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