Nearly nine years ago, my father wasn’t given a chance to live.
A healthy adult who had never missed a medical checkup, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. With no early detection method and no cure, the disease was found in an advanced stage and he was only given months to survive. With his first grandchild on the way, he fought to see her birth and then lost his battle two months later. This marks the seventh Father’s Day without my dad. For those who have faced the same struggle with this awful disease, the numbers are staggering.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. This year 43,140 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 36,800 will die from the disease. It has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers and 75 percent die within the first year of diagnosis and 95% will die within five years of diagnosis. The average life expectancy after metastic disease is just three to six months.
Despite all of these disconcerting statistics, there is hope.
On Sunday July 18th, the New Jersey Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will team with the Somerset Patriots for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness night 5:05 p.m. at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.
Go to www.pancan.org/newjersey or email TCohen@pancanvolunteer.org for more information. Please contact your local members of Congress and tell them to support The Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act (H.R. 745 and S. 3320), which focused on reducing mortality for pancreatic cancer.
Come join us as we take the next step toward finding a cure for this disease and helping others who won’t share the same fate as my dad.
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