It's spring and although we're spending more time indoors, flowers are blooming everywhere and that reminds me of Dad. I think about him often and frequently wonder what life would be like if he was still with us. We'd have missed the NCAA women's basketball championships like everybody else, but it would have been fun to speculate about how Oregon State would have done. He would have been excited that Sabrina was the top pick in the WNBA draft (even though she went to Oregon). He'd have loved that Mikayla got drafted. Although we didn't get to talk about these things this year, much like Dad after his diagnosis, Team Iven is still committed to beating pancreatic cancer.
PanCAN has been the driving force behind developing and implementing the strategy to beat pancreatic cancer. They've partnered with the Food and Drug Administration to pioneer a new approach to clinic trials. They've funded research to identify early detection methods. They've increased treatment options by targeting specific mutations. They've made life easier for patients, families, and caregivers, through ongoing support. And they've successfully advocated for increased federal funding for pancreatic cancer research.
As a result of their efforts, this past year, the five-year survival rate increased from 9 to 10 percent. While that's still entirely too low, it's progress, and means that more people will have more time with their family and loved ones. I know it's a tough time for a lot of people amidst a lot of uncertainty, but I'd be honored if you joined me on Team Iven for the virtual Purple Stride on June 13. You can join the team and stride anywhere. If you're able, I've also set a fundraising goal of $1,500 to help PanCAN continue their mission to beat pancreatic cancer.