Kay Friedlander. For those who live in Ithaca, a social worker, a helper to many with their eldercare issues. She has devoted her life to helping others.
And now, one more role....pancreatic cancer spokesperson. And pancreatic cancer patient.
She cites some of the same statistics that I saw at the fish fry fundraiser I blogged about last Friday.
And it was amazing, after I sent out an email to friends about the fish fry, that I found out how many have lost friends, relatives...some as young as 42, some dead as little as 2 weeks after diagnosis.
With all due respect to those I know who have survived, or are battling, breast cancer, this cancer needs to be "brought up to speed". Research must be funded, and funded now. This cancer needs to have some type of early detection, needs to be where breast cancer is now in the public mind. Publicity. Walks. Marathons.
My memories of my late aunt melting away from pancreatic cancer are still so fresh in my mind. The bruises she had from constant falling. The pain that finally could not be controlled. The parade of relatives coming to visit one last time. And now knowing the risk her two children, my cousins, bear having had a first degree relative with this cancer.
Kay says we must contact our elected officials. Try to get funding increased.
Let's think a minute.
How did breast cancer progress from the cancer no one spoke about to the cancer that is spoken about? From women undergoing surgery in the 1960's, not knowing how many breasts they would wake up with, to what we have today: thinking pink everywhere, breast cancer centers giving out pearl bracelets for a mammogram? Was it the availability of early detection? Was it the outgrowth of "woman's lib"? However the breast cancer movement did it, the pancreatic cancer movement needs to do it now.
Purple is the "color" of pancreatic cancer. It's going to take more than a bunch of fish fries.
Purple must become the new pink.