In August 2015 my father, Ray (Hey Man), was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (PC) - it is known as a 'silent killer' because oftentimes, the cancer has progressed to the late stages before being diagnosed and sadly, many of these patients (71%) will die within a year or less of diagnosis. My father was lucky in that his PC was discovered fairly early and he was able to undergo a very complex operation (Whipple) to remove the tumor in September 2015.
The 5 year survival rate for PC patients who have this procedure increases from a mere 8% to 20%. The statistics for PC in general are dismal and more research is needed to help find better therapies to treat PC. In October 2016, my dad's CT/PET scan revealed a new tumor developed in the same spot as his original tumor and he will began a new series of treatments as surgery is no longer an option. After 20 months from his initial diagnosis, on March 25, 2017, my dad's battle with Pancreatic Cancer ended at home with his family at his side.
A few facts about PC:
- In 2016 it was announced that pancreatic cancer surpassed breast cancer as the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S.
- Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a five-year relative survival rate in the single digits, at just 8 percent
- While overall cancer incidence and death rates are declining, the incidence and death rates for pancreatic cancer are increasing. Pancreatic cancer is projected to move past colorectal cancer to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States around 2020
While I signed up for this fundraiser fairly late, and have accepted the team goal challenge to raise $2,020 (to signify the effort to double the survival rate by the year 2020), I have hope that we can pull this off and reach the goal!
Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider making a donation, or better yet, join our clan of Wookies :)