Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

While everyone knows that Breast Cancer Awareness month is October, people are too often blind to the fact that Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month is just a month later, in November. Both of these events are very important in bringing this horrible illness to the limelight, as the fight against cancer will not be won unless research is funded. Unfortunately, once the “save the ta-ta’s” shirts and pink bows are put away, many people forget about all about the other forms of cancer. I have personal experience with pancreatic cancer, as it stole one of my favorite people, my uncle, from my aunt and our entire family. This destroyed us, in more ways than one, and while it rocked our family to the core, the worst part was that it wasn't caught early. If it had been, there could have been a different outcome.

Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates: 20% for one year and a mere 7% for five years past diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society. This is an awful statistic, and although many other types of cancer have similar rates, this is seen to be one of the worst. Now you may be wondering, of course I want to help, but how? One option is volunteering at Cancer Society Events in the area. Another, and probably one of the easiest ways to help, is right here on campus. Relay For Life is a great organization that creates an event in April to raise money for the American Cancer Society, which is a great way to help in the fight against cancer. While this is not specific to pancreatic cancer, it is one way to make a difference.

I miss my uncle. I miss him so much some days that I feel like I can’t breathe. He was one of kindest and funniest people I knew, and I look up to him still. I can still remember the many ways in which he shaped my childhood and helped me to grow into the woman I am today. He showed me that there were endless ways to read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, that laughter is the best medicine, and that imagination never stops, no matter how old you get. I love him so much, and the best way that I can honor his memory is by fighting tooth and nail until a cure is found. Pancreatic cancer, and cancer in general, is a horrific disease that continues to take too many lives. We need to spread awareness for every type of cancer, and hopefully one day someone will find a cure. I will continue to advocate for this so hopefully one day no one will have to feel the pain of losing a loved one to this monster of an illness.