• My dad and I dancing at my wedding.

    My dad and I dancing at my wedding.

Welcome to Kirsten Bryant's PurpleStride Fundraising Page

Thank you for your continued support of my fight against pancreatic cancer. Each year PurpleStride occurs close to the anniversary of losing my dad to this horrible disease. This year it will be seven years. I still miss him every day. My oldest little boy Jimmy has reached an age (four) where he loves to hear stories, which Matt tells him every night before bed. It brought tears to my eyes recently when Jimmy very excitedly told me all about the big firework show that Pop-pop would put on each 4th of July (as if I wasn’t there). I wish Jimmy could be making those memories with Pop-pop rather than just hearing them, but it is endearing to witness his excitement and imagine how he may have interacted with my dad.

Jimmy is also learning a little bit about why Mommy works so hard. He knows that Pop-pop had cancer and that’s why he is not here anymore. He knows that other people are still getting cancer and that Mommy is trying to help them. This year has been filled with additional, significant steps forward in that fight. When I wrote to you last year, I was excited to share that I was finally able to publish my work on a new treatment for pancreatic cancer. That published study continues to make an impact on the field, it has been downloaded from Nature Medicine (the medical journal it was published in) by 18,000 other scientists! This year also marked another important milestone for the work. I am happy to announce that we have opened our first clinical trial, in collaboration with doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston), to test the combination in patients and have a second trial that will open at the UNC Cancer Center and Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston) very soon. Additionally, a total of four trials have been opened by other groups across the country. My work is providing patients with more treatment options, which is exactly what I set out to do. Thank you for accompanying me on this journey!

There is still lots of work to be done. I spent most of this past year writing grants to fund future work that will improve our original combination therapy that we are testing in trials, as well as uncover new directions from which to attack pancreatic cancer. Luckily, all of this writing is starting to pay off, literally. I have been awarded grants from both the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the National Cancer Institute.  

My dad never lost his drive to beat pancreatic cancer, and it is that drive that lives on in me. If there is one thing that I know about what I do, it is that my dad would be proud. I am doing it for him, and I am doing it for all the fathers and mothers diagnosed each year with pancreatic cancer.

Your gift will support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's world-class programs that are changing lives for all those affected by pancreatic cancer through research, advocacy, patient services and much more. 

Any amount, great or small, helps in the fight. Thank you for your support!

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