Wage Hope at PurpleStride. The walk to end pancreatic cancer.
Wage Hope to end pancreatic cancer
This October Mikki & her team will join hundreds of others at Magnuson Park in Seattle to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer at PurpleStride Puget Sound. Raising awareness surrounding pancreatic cancer has been near and dear to Mikki’s heart for over a decade.
Her experience with pancreatic cancer began in 2005. Though, it would take a few years for her to really understand the implications of the illness on her life. One day, sitting in English class, Mikki noticed her best friend, Mel was not doing okay. When Mikki asked her what was going on, Mel passed her a note saying that her grandma was losing her battle to cancer. They had been best friends for almost a decade at this point in their lives. It broke Mikki’s heart to see her bestfriend & her family, who are like Mikki’s own family, hurting the way they were. Grandma Curley lost her battle to pancreatic cancer in February of 2005.
In August of 2008, their hearts would be damaged by pancreatic cancer again. Mikki’s world was flipped upside down. Mikki had just come home from journalism summer camp, her parents were out to dinner with friends. At dinner a friend noticed that Mikki’s mom, Vikki, had jaundice. The friend pulled Vikki to the side and told her quietly that she needed to go to the doctor and not to wait until Monday. The next morning Mikki took her mom to the Sedro Woolley emergency room. When her dad was back in town from a motorcycle ride, he took over waiting for answers at the hospital with Vikki. Mikki went home to rest. That night, her mom was transported to another local hospital for further testing. It was at this point Mikki’s family found out that they were facing pancreatic cancer. Vikki underwent the Whipple procedure to remove the tumor at UW hospital in Seattle. While surgery was successful and they were seeing positive results from treatment at first, the cancer came back with a vengeance. It spread quickly though Vikki’s body. Somehow she remained positive and strong through it all. In May of 2009, Vikki lost her battle.
Mikki, alongside friends and family, runs the PurpleStride each fall in honor of her mom, Vikki Valentine and Mel’s grandma, Millie Curley. Her dream is to see survival rates & treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients improve immensely, as well as spread awareness for the deadly disease. Mikki would like to invite anyone who has been touched by pancreatic cancer to join the team & run with them this fall.