Photo of the Day: Cancer Hero

This weekend my family participated in PurpleStride, a 5k run/walk for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. This year’s Kansas City event has raised $297,000 – a HUGE growth for its third year. The best part about the event? It’s more than just a walk. It’s more like a carnival with booths, thousands of people, and a huge kids activity area complete with a blow up slide, face paint, crafts, and popcorn and cotton candy. I love how this event is raising awareness about pancreatic cancer. In 2013 45,220 will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S., and 38,460 will die from it. Hopefully fundraisers like this will change those grim statistics.

See my photo from the inaugural Kansas City walk.

My cousin Taylor is going to be a great supporter of cancer awareness when she grows up. Tay lost her grandma to pancreatic cancer almost 3 years ago.

Project 52 Week 45: What Do Hockey & Cancer Have in Common?

What do hockey teams and fighting cancer have in common? They both have a desire to kick butt! Saturday evening was the annual Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Night at the Missouri Mavericks hockey game. We had a great time with family & friends supporting a cause near and dear to our hearts. This will be the third Thanksgiving and Christmas without my aunt, but I don’t think the holidays have gotten any easier for my family. She’s greatly missed … we’ll continue this in her honor.

Three young girls cheer for the Mavericks as they sport their purple Pancreatic Cancer Action Network apparel.
Stretching before the 3rd period – the most flexible hockey player I’ve ever seen.

 

Project 52 Week 39: Purple Light

Last week my extended family attended Purple Light – a vigil to honor & remember loved ones who have faced pancreatic cancer. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network hosts the event to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and how desperately funding is needed for research to learn more about the deadly disease. Survival rates are the lowest among all cancers and haven’t improved over the last 40 years.

In memory of Aunt Jill.

Days 316-317: Night of Hope, Day of Renewal

This weekend finally arrived … and passed too quickly. I was so looking forward to the Night of Hope – a Pancreatic Cancer Action Network gala – 1) because it was our first time attending a gala, and 2) the cause is close to my heart. My aunt passed away from pancreatic cancer last July, just 8 months after being diagnosed. Since then I’ve met so many people who have been affected by this horrible disease. It was a roller coaster of emotions; it was fun to dress up and get a fancy hotel room, but it was also incredibly touching to witness the Vigil for Hope, where everyone lit purple lights in memory of their loved ones.

A view of Liberty Memorial from our hotel room before the gala.
As my aunt’s name appeared on the screen, the entire venue was lit in purple for the Vigil of Hope.
The day after the gala we walked around Liberty Memorial and Union Station. We even laid down on the lawn for a while, just to relax!

Day 286: Self-Portrait, Gala-Bound

Next month my husband and I will have the privilege of attending our first gala, thanks to a generous birthday gift. We’ll be attending the PANCAN Night of Hope at Union Station. I bought this dress for the occasion about a week ago, and I’ve been meaning to take a photo of it to send to my mom. I figured I might as well turn it into my photo of the day. Now I just need shoes and jewelry … suggestions welcome!

A self-portrait in my new gala dress.

Day 230: A Sign From Above

I work for the American Cancer Society; my aunt passed away from pancreatic cancer last year. Even though pancreatic cancer is rare, I’ve met so many people affected by it since she was diagnosed. So naturally, I’m passionate about the cause. Yesterday when I was grocery shopping, I saw this hydraulic lift (or whatever it is) in the Hy-Vee parking lot. Not only does it promote cancer research, it’s pancreatic cancer research. Even better, it was named “Duke” on front side (not pictured). Our Relay For Life team is named Dukes of Hazzard, after my aunt’s abbreviated last name. A coincidence? Or is Someone trying to tell me something?

I'm so glad to see others in my community are passionate about pancreatic cancer too.

Day 113: One Step At a Time

My aunt Jill passed away from pancreatic cancer last July. So when my family heard about the first pancreatic cancer PurpleStride 5k in Kansas City, we jumped on board. We ran, walked, raised money, and volunteered at the event. It was a huge success, drawing 1100 participants and raising over $97,000! This photo is what it’s all about – the survivors. Out of 1100 people, there were only eight survivors. Eight. There have been almost no advancements in pancreatic cancer in the last 40 years, and the five-year survival rate is only 4%. Hopefully with passionate people like those we celebrated with Saturday morning, those numbers will start to change.


Canon 60d
1/400 sec., f/4.0, ISO 200
18-200 mm lens (28 mm), natural light