One of PanCan’s most powerful slogans is demand better.  Demand better for patients and for survival.  Pancreatic Cancer is now the 3rd leading cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S.  By 2020, pancreatic cancer is forecasted to be the 2nd leading cause of cancer related deaths surpassing breast cancer.  Meanwhile the 5 year survival rate for pancreatic cancer has increased from 7% to 8%.  While the increase is welcome, the survival rate for pancreatic cancer is still way too low.

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The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer to anyone’s friend or family member is horrifying.  What I respected so much about Debbie is that she lived her life fully not allowing the disease to define her.   I’m grateful to have had her in my life and for the example she set.  Additionally, she was the epitome of grace under pressure.  In the midst of her treatment, she was committed to making the future brighter for all pancreatic cancer patients.   Our commitment to the cure steadfast driven by her absence, which is felt profoundly by all of us.  I promised her that I would never give up the fight that I would always wage hope as her proxy.

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