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PurpleStride Pittsburgh Walk- Run Set For August to Fight Pancreatic Cancer

PITTSBURGH, July 27, 2012 – The annual PurpleStride Pittsburgh 5K Walk-Run will be held 9 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 5, in the North Park Swimming Pool Lot to help fund the fight against pancreatic cancer. This year’s event has already raised $75,000, and was organized by Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure, and sponsored in part by UPMC CancerCenter.
 
The race’s mission is to raise money and increase awareness and support in search of a cure for pancreatic cancer. It brings together cancer patients, caregivers, families and friends from the Pittsburgh region and beyond. The ultimate goal of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is to double the current five-year relative survival rate of just 6 percent by 2020.
 
This year, nearly 44,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States and more than 37,000 will die from the disease. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. There are no early diagnostic tools and few effective treatments.  The disease has the lowest survival rate of all cancers, and many patients die within months of diagnosis.
 
As one of the rare survivors of pancreatic cancer, UPMC Mercy patient Dennis Cronin provides hope to others stricken with the disease. He serves as the honorary chairman of PurpleStride Pittsburgh. Dennis was diagnosed in May 2010 and endured chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries. Typically, symptoms of pancreatic cancer present themselves after the disease has spread. He had extremely subtle symptoms and his cancer was found in the tail of his pancreas, a location atypical of most pancreatic cancers.
 
He credits the physicians and medical staff of UPMC Mercy for his disease detection, treatment and recovery. “Though I am back to my normal routine, every day I remember that the statistics say I am supposed to be dead,” said Cronin. “It has been 800 days since I was diagnosed, and not a day goes by that I don't realize how blessed I am to still be here.”
 
Traditionally, research on pancreatic cancer has been underfunded. However, through the efforts of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 80 research grants totaling $12.7 million have been awarded. The PurpleStride Pittsburgh 5K run and family walk contributes greatly to its fundraising efforts.
 
Online registration is available through 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2. Participants also may register starting at 8 a.m. on race day. For more information on PurpleStride Pittsburgh, including volunteer opportunities, please contact Julie Miller at jmiller@pancanvolunteer.org. Mr. Cronin’s personal testimony can be read here.

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