• Yes We XAN-living life fully

    Yes We XAN-living life fully

Wage Hope to end pancreatic cancer

Dearest Friends and Family,

We hope you will join us again this year for our 4th Purple Stride PDX walk on September 29, 2018. Whether you walk side-by-side with us in PDX or virtually, your love and support are critical to helping Xan stay strong as he continues to fight this disease. As I write this, it has been 3 years 8 months and 15 days (7/27/18)since Xan was diagnosed. Since that awful November 2014 day, Xan has never wavered in hiscourage and determination to stay strong and resilient and to live life fully. As many of you know, Xan has weathered a hell of a lot since November 11, 2014 including 2 clinical trials;chemo; radiation; a Whipple; metastases three separate times; and over 40 cycles of FOLFIRINOX.More importantly, Xan has lived a lot~learning to surf and kiteboard through Project Koru; becoming a thoughtful, compelling speaker/fundraiser for PanCan and other organizations that support cancer patients; being a compassionate guide to others diagnosed with cancer; becoming an ambassador for other young adults with cancer; working full-time; witnessing the birth of his son; celebrating his son’s first birthday; and being a loving partner to his beautiful wife and a loving son,brother, cousin and friend. Xan is proof positive that one can live fully while battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. If Xan can accomplish all of this while having 3 days of chemo out of every 14 days, month after month and year after year, then I am confident that together we can rise to the challenge to reach this year’s team goal of $25,000.

Xan does not have the luxury of quitting. Please don’t get tired of supporting us. The funds raised support PanCan’s critical research grants and patient support. We desperately need breakthroughs in clinical treatments so pancreatic cancer patients can have a better chance of survival.Remember the 5-year survival rate is only 9% and for those with Stage 4 the5-year survival rate is too painfully low for me to even put on paper. Let’s work together to get those survival statistics into the double digits for all stages of pancreatic cancer. 

With deepest gratitude, Xan’s mom, Lucy


October 3, 2017: A HUGE THANK YOU to all 63 members of Team YES WE XAN who walked with us in the sunshine on September 23, 2017 and to the 100+ people who donated to the YES WE XAN team and raised money.  We joined over 1000 other PurpleStriders, of whom 34 were survivors....that ratio is what motivates us to work tirelessly to raise funds through PurpleStride PDX.  We are profoundly grateful to all of you for supporting the YES WE XAN team.  We raised $31,889, which was 64% of our fundraising goal.  In 2016, we raised $50,000 and we will work hard to reach that goal next year.  These funds we raise go directly to fund research for new therapies to help improve the survival rate.  Next year we hope to see more walkers and more importantly more survivors walking with us.  With your help we can make that a reality.  How do we know that our efforts can increase survival rates? We know this because since the breast cancer community started the Making Strides fundraising walks 20 years ago, the rate of deaths from breast cancer has declined by 32%.  Let's do the same for pancreatic cancer.

With profound gratitude,

Xan and his family

Xan's Post from July 2017:


In November 2014, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 pancreatic cancer.  I was 29 years old.  After embarking on a clinical trial that combined standard of care chemo, radiation, surgery, and more chemo, with an experimental immunotherapy agent, we thought I was in the clear.

I was not.  A year in, and just 5 weeks shy of completing the clinical trial, we found the disease had spread to my liver, and was now Stage 4.  I will live with this for the rest of my life, the question is just how long that will be.

I’m aiming for decades.

After spending all of 2016 in aggressive chemotherapy, I am now considered "no evidence of disease."  It took a massive effort to get me here, with absolutely critical services provided by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network,and the research and programs that they sponsor.

Your donation to PurpleStride makes real progress toward treatment advances, and hopefully a cure, for this horrible disease.  I am one of the very few who has made it this far, and every day I continue to fight (I’m composing this message while in a hyperbaric chamber). 

So if you can join us on September 24 in Portland for the event, we welcome you.  If you’re able to make a donation, no matter how much, we thank you profusely.  Help us make my reality a reality for others.  It’s along road, and it can’t be traveled alone.

Thank you

Xan Harwood-Karlik

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