I became involved with PanCAN to honor my father's request to raise awareness about this silent killer, pancreatic cancer. My father, Sandy E. Brown received his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis on his 56th birthday, July 7, 1999.
Sandy, aka "Boodie" Brown was a devoted husband, father, disciple of Christ and guitarist. He loved his family, class reunions and teaching Sunday School. His cancer journey started when a cut in his abdomen area did not properly heal. After surgery to remove his navel, he learned the tissue was cancerous and further testing was needed to determine the type of cancer. While awareness of his cancer started with the abdomen injury; one year prior to the diagnosis, my father started losing weight and didn't have much of an appetite. We weren't aware that unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite are associated symptoms of later stages of pancreatic cancer. We hoped it was colon cancer due to the higher survival rates; but unfortunately, we received catastrophic news that it was pancreatic cancer. Sadly, the life expectancy for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer is crushing and disheartening. My father was told the tumor was inoperable, and chemo was his only option. Essentially, the tumor had metastasized to other organs in the body. Prayerfully, we proceeded with chemo treatment to slow down the advanced cancer, and enjoy time with him.
We utilized our faith, hope and trust in God to fight this horrible disease. However, during treatment, we faced two hurdles; a Category 5 Hurricane - Floyd and limited resources in a small rural community. Hurricane Floyd dump massive rain in Eastern, NC, resulting in deadly flooding. Thus, a 90 min drive to visit my father took 3 hours or more. Also, living in a rural community resulted in barriers to receiving optimal treatment, limited access to oncology providers and longer travel times to appointments. In addition, little to no recruitment for clinical trials. My father, a warrior remained optimistic during treatment, and always stated that if he won this battle on earth, he would be a spokesman to raise awareness about this disease, and if he didn't he wanted us to fulfilled his mission. Unfortunately, my father lost his earthly battle on October 27, 1999.
It is my family's mission and purpose to put forth our best effort to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer.
Our team is participating in PanCAN’s PurpleStride, a year-round national movement that funds life changing programs and services for pancreatic cancer patients and their families, increase early detection to decrease the high mortality rate.
Every dollar you give means more patients can benefit from PanCAN’s free, one-on-one support, personalized information, service and resources that can make a real difference in their lives.
Please join our team as a participant, or make a gift of any size to get us one step closer to our fundraising goal and improving more patients’ lives. You can donate to a team member or make a general donation to the team.
Patients and families need us now more than ever. Pancreatic cancer does not stop or slow down, and neither do we!
Thank you for your support.