Saturday, April 21st, was a day of inspiration and hope, as more than 2200 survivors, family members, friends, and advocates joined the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's PurpleStride fundraising event in Riverside Park to support the fight against pancreatic cancer. The event included a 5K run/walk to honor and remember loved ones.
Speaking at the opening ceremony were event Master of Ceremonies Lauren Scala of NBC 4 New York; Lauren Ballough of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network; Lisa Niemi Swayze, PurpleStride's Honorary Chair and Chief Ambassador of Hope; and Dr. Michael Lieberman, Director of Surgery at The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health and Chief of Surgical Oncology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Ms. Niemi Swayze, who is the wife of the late Patrick Swayze, noted that even though Patrick is gone, the fight against pancreatic cancer remains. "It hasn't been easy, but my determination and passion to continue to fight this disease in his honor is motivated by the many volunteers and survivors who I've met and the progress we are making," Niemi Swayze commented.
Dr. Lieberman emphasized the need for advances in research, more effective treatment options, and preventive strategies in pancreatic cancer. "Pancreatic cancer is a difficult disease, but there is always hope. Today, we run and we walk for awareness, for research, and for hope," Lieberman said.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. PurpleStride New York 2012 raised more than $310,000 for PanCan's efforts against this disease. Additional donations can be made online at: www.purplestride.org/newyorkcity