• Camryn Flores

Pancan Organization: Working to bring awareness to pancreatic cancer

Cancer is an abnormality within cells that cause them to divide and destroy bodily tissue. There are more than a hundred different types of cancer. After a patient completes chemotherapy, radiation or in some cases, surgery, only wishful thinking is left in the hands of the survivor and their loved ones.

Organizations such as Pancan, hope to take the heavy gruesome weight off of just the hoping lives that are affected. They want to raise awareness and patient support in hopes for a better outcome for pancreatic cancer patients. They organize walks and runs, local events and activities, and give others the opportunity to start their own fundraisers and volunteer. They hope to be there for everyone impacted by pancreatic cancer, with resources so survivors can talk to each other, share their challenges and support one another as well as ways their loved ones can help them as much as possible.

According to the Pancan website, pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths, with more than 56,000 people expected to be diagnosed in 2020. With no current cure, the foundation offers as much treatment as possible and does anything to help. The “walk to end pancreatic cancer” is known as Purple Stride. Pancan made this event to raise money for scientific research, patient services, government advocacy, and community engagement. In the fall of 2020, Pancan will host another Purple Stride walk.

Cancer is a gruesome attack on the body and not only does it affect the survivor, but their loved ones as well. “I like the support they provide, the virtual meetings they offer and their dedication to a cancer that is rarely funded. Because only 56,000 people a year get diagnosed, it does not get much funding. But of those 56,000 people, 47,000 will perish within five years. I also like how they provide individual help and guidance on different trials available,” a Pancan supporter Jason Finneran said.

Finneran and his family have raised 11,325 dollars towards awareness, research, advocacy and patient support. The entire family will also be walking in PurpleStride like they did in 2019 with his father, Patrick Finneran, who they recently lost to Pancreatic Cancer in April. The family is doing everything to raise awareness on a rarely supported cancer. Tina Finneran, Patrick Finneran’s sister, spoke on ESPN the last week of April to raise awareness and advocacy.

With a cancer as brutal as Pancreatic, organizations such as Pacan are here for support and willing to put forth effort. Even with their effort, it takes action by people who care. Families like the Finneran’s who spread awareness and open eyes to illnesses like these. They can hopefully show people that little steps to bettering others health can benefit everyone in the end.

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