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Kristi Schultz, PurpleStride Delaware
I became involved in the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-Delaware Affiliate after my mother-in-law, Janet Schultz was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in June 2010. After trying several different chemotherapy treatments at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD we were told in April 2011 that there was nothing else to try. We made sure we went on one more family vacation to the beach which was Janet's favorite time with all of us and she passed away on August 1, 2011. It is my family's hope that by being involved we can help spread awareness and raise more money in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Our team Love You to the Moon and Back is named so because that is what Janet used to say to her grandchildren whenever she said goodbye to them. We still use it when we talk about her with them. We honor her memory by participating in the first annual Purple Stride Delaware on June 1, 2013 with her family and her friends.
Dara Rapoport, PurpleStride Washington, D.C.
I began participating in PurpleStride in 2011 because of Marge Meyer. Two years ago she told us that she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. But in the same exact breath she said “Don’t worry about me. I’m a fighter. I’m going to beat this. I don’t care about the odds – I’ll come through it.”
Marge’s spirit and energy was the driving force behind Marge’s Marcher’s success. In her Chronicles of Marge emails, she would always remind people about PurpleStride, and ask them to join us or to donate to support the cause. And through my own weekly emails to our contact list, we were able to get a strong base of supporters. Every week I would email previous participants, friends and co-workers, letting them know where we stood in terms of fundraising, participation, and our event goals. I would remind them that it was a family-friendly event that everyone could enjoy. I found that repetitive communication helped because it was a friendly reminder to get involved. It was never a nagging email, but a fun and colorful way to keep people up to date on our progress. Eventually, once they had some free time from their busy schedules, people started to donate and register.
My favorite memory from last year was seeing how many people came out to support our team and Marge. Team spirit was evident everywhere with the t-shirts we made, signs and purple beads. We weren’t sure how Marge would be feeling, but when she got near the finish line, and saw all of us waiting for her, she was so full of energy and excitement that she grabbed our team banner and ran across the finish line.
We’re excited to continue to support Marge in 2013 and she continues to prove that pancreatic cancer won’t bring her down.
Paula Brown, PurpleStride Denver
My name is Paula Brown and I am a two year survivor of pancreatic cancer. In 2011 I began a journey that lead me to volunteer for the Denver Affiliate of Pancreatic Cancer Network and the 2012 Purple Stride. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February of 2011 and soon after completing chemo therapy in November of 2011 I started attending the planning meetings for the 2012 Purple Stride. I had never run in any kind of race but I committed to doing so as a way to celebrate my survival. I began training using the “From Couch Potato to 5K” method for my training. After “manning” the Survivor Check-In table on the day of the race I went to the start line and waved to Dinger, the Colorado Rockies Mascot who had come to cheer us on, as I began to run. I actually completed the 5K, running the entire way. It was, for me, a great accomplishment. I look forward to seeing lots of folks at the 2013 Purple Stride.