Jill Sorcabal

Jill Sorcabal

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Raised: $7,977

Goal: $1,000

Thank You for Supporting my "Positively Purple" PanCAN Fundraiser!

What am I doing?  I want to help the Pancreatic Cancer Society advance research, support patients and create hope. I’m taking part in the 2024 walk to end pancreatic cancer, PanCAN PurpleStride, on April 27th at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.

Why am I doing this?  Because I am a pancreatic cancer patient.

My Story:  February 7th, 2023 was a pretty normal day. I went to work, picked up my kids from school, did the soccer mom thing and shuttled my son to practice that night. Granted I had not been feeling great recently (most notably months of constant back pain which I had been seeking treatment for).  The following day I went to an Urgent Care where a CT scan revealed a 5cm mass on my pancreas (the metric system isn’t my thing but apparently that’s a pretty big mass).  I was admitted to the hospital that night and a few days later got my diagnosis:  Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer....  World. Turned. Upside. Down.

I had just turned 42. I had a 5 year old daughter and an 8 year old son. I was otherwise healthy. How could this be happening??

With the help of my sister/nurse, I was connected to a fantastic oncologist and started chemo right away.  Given the size and location of the tumor (it was encompassing a major artery and vein) I was told it was inoperable.  I pushed the surgeon for more options; more surgeons and an extensive tumor board made up of physicians at a top 10 cancer center reviewed my case and all came to the same conclusion – this was inoperable. Continue with chemo. 

I lived with that answer for 9 long months.  The tumor was shrinking from the chemo, but chemo without surgery was not a solution and pretty much just buying whatever time it could buy me.  As I wrestled with that thought, some of the hope I had from the beginning had started to fade.  One day I decided that was not going to be my story. I could not accept that answer. Even after so many physicians agreed that was in fact the answer, I just could not accept it and started my own research project.  I joined pancreatic cancer support groups with patients and family members from around the world sharing their stories, researched medical journals, and contacted many other well-known cancer centers around the country; one had a 7 month wait to get an appointment, one I received another “no, it is inoperable.”  I still could not accept that.  After more research I connected with an amazingly talented, “super-hero” surgeon who has impressive experience performing this complex surgery to the extent I needed. There are only a handful of surgeons in the world with the skills to perform the procedure as I needed it, and this surgeon felt confident he could help me. I finally had hope back. 

After 11 months of every-other-week chemo treatments and almost a year after my diagnosis, January 3, 2024, I had my 11-hour long Whipple surgery with vascular reconstruction. This required traveling out of state and leaving my kids behind for 2 weeks. While this was a risky surgery, it was a risk I had to take to have a chance to beat this.  The surgeon completed the procedure flawlessly.  Part of my pancreas, stomach/duodenum, gall bladder, and bile duct were removed, and my digestive system was re-built, this also included portal vein reconstruction and a nerve graft (I had a vein and nerve removed from my neck for the reconstruction).  The tumor was fully removed with all clean margins.  Thirty-one lymph nodes were removed and tested, and ALL came back negative for cancer. Absolutely Amazing.

I am beyond blessed and so fortunate to be where I am today. I also know this could all change tomorrow.  Pancreatic Cancer is unforgiving and one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Around 80% of patients don’t qualify for surgery and given that statistic there is then an overall 5-year survival rate of only 13%.  There is SO much to be gained in the world of pancreatic cancer research, early detection efforts and treatments. This is why I want to join the fight to bring awareness and raise funds for researchit can SAVE LIVES.

I’m so grateful for your support, whether it be a monetary donation which goes directly to the Pancreatic Cancer Society for research and patient benefits, joining in the walk to raise awareness, or saying a prayer for those patients and families facing this terrible cancer.  I have had an amazing support network of my family, friends, co-workers, and medical teams and now I want to help give back.

A huge THANK YOU for your support!

~Jill

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  • $1,000GRANDCLUB

    Raise $1,000 and Join the PanCAN PurpleStride Grand Club

About PanCAN PurpleStride

Local action. Nationwide impact. This is PanCAN PurpleStride, the ultimate walk to end pancreatic cancer.

On Saturday, April 27, 2024, at nearly 60 events across the country, pancreatic cancer survivors, families, caregivers, researchers and supporters will join together and walk to honor everyone affected by the disease.

PurpleStride is PanCAN's signature community celebration, raising money to fight pancreatic cancer on all fronts — through research, clinical initiatives, patient services, advocacy and nationwide volunteer support. Learn more.