When I was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer, I lost 40+ lbs in a matter of months and I looked and felt like a shell of my former self. I was scared, confused and angry. I questioned everything I had ever done in my life and wondered if I had turned left instead of right, would I be in this position. 8 months and 5 days later, hope has filled my heart.
Today, we participated in our first PurpleStride. Our team spent months raising money and more importantly awareness. You heard our call and responded in force. I can not thank you enough for your support, generosity, donations, and words of encouragement. I also want to thank our incredible teammates and supporters from both near and far who walked hand in hand with our family today. Thank you is not enough for everything you have done for us. Amanda Deal and I are forever grateful.
I witnessed hope today. I heard the voices of 12+ year survivors. I met incredible warriors who have faced this fight and did so with courage, grace and most importantly hope. I met families who have lost loved ones to this horrific disease. Their strength and courage was inspiring. They shared loving messages of faith and hope for those fighting.
The hardest part of today was standing shoulder to shoulder with other Survivors. It was an inspirational but extremely emotional moment. I was inspired by their fight yet sad that there were so few survivors. It was a harsh reminder of the reality of this disease. This has to change and we must Demand Better. A 9% 5-year survival rate is not acceptable.
Purple Ribbons are not enough. Hope, will help guide us through this fight, but we can't stop there. Without awareness, funds, and research, the survival rate won't change. Amanda Deal and I, as well as our families, look forward to participating in many more PurpleStride events with you. Thank you again for your support, positive vibes, prayers and love.
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