In 1973 my Grandfather, Ben Hapala, had back pain that would not go away. When he went in to get it checked out he found out cancer was spread throughout his body. A couple months later he was gone. In 1982 after complaining about stomach issues my Grandma, Esther Hapala, went to her doctor and found out she had pancreatic cancer. After trying chemotherapy unsuccessfully she passed away a couple of months after diagnosis. Fast forward to 2006. Mom had stomach problems and knew something was not right. After debating going to her local hospital or to a staffed ER, she chose the ER and they quickly found a tumor on the pancreas. The pancreatic cancer was caught early in her case and she was able to have a whipple performed along with chemo and radiation. Our family was lucky because it worked! Mom had very few issues until it came back eight years later. After successful treatments for spots in the lung and brain, it unfortunately spread rapidly throughout the liver. Mom chose to stop treatments and one month later she was gone. Our family feels blessed we had Mom for almost nine amazing years after diagnosis. It has been a hard journey and we know what a lot of other families are going through. Though we have lost so much we feel we have also been given more than most. This is the reason we continue to wage the fight against pancreatic cancer. Our family will be walking in honor of friends, in memory of loved ones and for those who can no longer walk beside us. Please join our family in making sure that no one fights pancreatic cancer alone.
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all major cancers, at just 9%. This deadly disease has stolen our best and our brightest, but it can’t take away our determination.
Our team has stepped up to Wage Hope at PurpleStride, the walk to end pancreatic cancer.Will you help us rewrite the future of this disease by making a donation today?
Every dollar that you donate ensures that the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network can continue working to create better outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients and their families. By donating to our team, you are supporting vital efforts to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.
Purple ribbons aren’t enough. Please join us in the fight today.