|Cousins For A Cure
"GRITiTUDE = Girls Raised in the South with Attitude!"
Our cousin has pancreatic cancer. Age 56. Excellent health. None of the known risk factors. But she has advanced pancreatic cancer.
Cousins for a Cure have organized a fundraising drive that will hopefully increase awareness of this devastating cancer. We are selling t-shirts with proceeds being donated to pancreatic cancer research in honor of our cousin, Diane, who is fighting this monster, and has coined a new word “GRITiTUDE” (Girls Raised in the South with Attitude).
The designer of the shirt says, “The reason that I chose a butterfly for the design is because the butterfly is a symbol that is widely accepted as representing a strong spirit. This butterfly represents our strong Diane. The butterfly makes a long and dangerous journey. It has to be strong spirited and lucky too in order to reach its destination. Our Diane is one of the luckiest people I know and she is strong spirited ... and as beautiful as any butterfly."
Did you know that November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and that the color is purple? Probably not. Pancreatic cancer is one of the forgotten cancers; although it is the 4th highest cancer killer, it is 11th in research funding.
Fortunately, Diane has her strong, healthy body and a steely determination (GRITiTUDE), to help her in her fight against this monster in her body. Unfortunately, what she does not have to help her, is past years of intensive research for a cure.
“Pancreatic cancer currently claims over 33,000 American lives each year and only has a 5% five year survival rate. These figures, coupled with the fact that the average life expectancy of a patient diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is only 6 months, makes this disease the single deadliest cancer in America. Pancreatic cancer is currently 48 times more deadly than AIDS and over 17 times deadlier than breast cancer based on life expectancy, and five year survival rates, which are now 94% for AIDS and 89% for breast cancer. 75% of patients diagnosed with this disease will die within a year of diagnosis. Though pancreatic cancer kills twice as many Americans than AIDS it receives 39 times less funding of research.” (Source: Pancreatic Cancer Research Federal Funding Fact Sheet).
By the time pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, it has usually spread to other organs. In the other major cancers, widespread use of screenings such as mammograms, chest X-rays, PSA tests, and colonoscopies, enables doctors to make early diagnosis. Sadly, there is no commonly used screening test for pancreatic cancer. Congress must make appropriations to the Center for Disease Control to develop a nationwide screening system. Currently, $0 is placed in the CDC budget for pancreatic cancer, while over $200 million is earmarked yearly for breast and cervical cancer. A 5.6 million grant to combat AIDS in the South was recently approved.
On September 19 the US House passed HR733 (read online). It has not been passed in the Senate (S.362); please contact your Senator.
In spite of all the gloomy statistics, we firmly believe that our cousin will be one of the 5% surviving. Her mantra is “If it can be beat, I will beat it!”
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Cousins for a Cure is not a non-profit organization or business entity. We are simply family, cousins, doing what we can to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer to help one of our own.
You can learn more about Cousins for a Cure by visiting our Facebook Page.
© 2012 Cousins for a Cure •
Franklin, NC 28734