Almost 11 years ago, Wayzata resident Brenda Coleman was facing the dire diagnosis of pancreatic cancer—a cancer with a mere 6 percent survival rate.
Today, beating the odds, she is alive and well, devoting her time and energy to the Twin Cities Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. This Saturday, Sept. 15, Coleman will heading up PurpleRide Twin Cities 2012, a biking fundraiser event through Elm Creek Regional Park in Maple Grove.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and offers an eight-mile ride beginning at 10 a.m., a 25-mile ride beginning at 8:30 a.m. and an eight-mile optional scenic challenge loop for riders of either route. The ride will be followed by family activities, raffles and a closing ceremony.
To register, visit www.purpleride.org.
This is the Seventh Annual PurpleRide Twin Cities, which Coleman—the local affiliate coordinator—calls “singularly the most effective way to reach a large audience who has been touched by pancreatic cancer and to offer them an opportunity to help us make a difference.”
This year, the event goal is $350,000. If that mark is hit, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will have exceeded a $2 million raised cumulatively for pancreatic cancer research through this one event—a significant milestone.
“I am happy that, today, we can offer patients more resources and hope than I myself had 11 years ago,” Coleman said.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States and has the lowest relative survival rate among leading cancer killers. This devastating disease has claimed the lives of many public figures, including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, actor Patrick Swayze, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Ralph Steinman, Physicist and first American woman in space Sally Ride, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Dr. Randy Pausch, actor Michael Landon and opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
This year, nearly 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 37,000 will die. The five-year relative survival rate is just 6 percent and has remained largely unchanged in the last 40 years because early detection tools and effective treatments have yet to be developed.
Despite these sobering statistics, approximately 2 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s federal research funding is allocated to pancreatic cancer.
To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Twin Cities affiliate, visitwww.pancan.org