Ducky Strong

  • We are Ducky Strong

    We are Ducky Strong

Ducky Strong


Raised: $629

Goal: $1,000

Welcome to our team fundraising page!

We are raising money for my dad, Douglas Heilmann(Ducky) who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer two days before Christmas of 2016. Our family was in disbelief and wished we could of woke up from this terrible nightmare. What is getting us through each day, is the support, care and love from family and friends. That is what pushed my dad to continue to fight his battle because he knew he was not in it alone. He was receiving treatment at one of the best places in the world, MD Anderson. We were so blessed with the team of doctors we had to give us all hope that my dad would kick pancreas in the ass. The doctors took every step to make sure my dad would come out of this as a survivor and beat those horrible death statistics he was given by other doctors in San Antonio. We lost my grandmother(mom's mother) to this same disease in 2007. Although research has come along way since then, unfortunately, it is not much better. There is absolutely no reason for my father to be given the same statistics of 6-8 months to live as my grandmother was given. My father lost his battle after 6 months.  One thing I made my dad promise me was for him to be standing up there on stage with the rest of the survivors at Purplestride 2017. I was heartbroken that my father was not able to join me, but I knew he would be there in spirit running the Shop Purple Store like he always did.  Our family is very passionate about this cause because it truly hits home to us. We have been volunteering since 2012 at Purplestride and I am personally involved with the organization in California. I have organized the event for three years as the Event Chair and now I am the Media Relations Chair and the November Awareness Chair. My dad said to me not long after he was diagnosed, that "there was a reason why you got involved, not only for grandma, but for me and you didn't event know it." That has stuck with me and makes me tear up everytime. At that point is when I knew I was touched by GOD, there was a reason to be involved and a purpose to help my dad seek the best options for treatment. Our family came together as a team to make sure my dad was in good spirits and he got everything he needed to fight everyday. My mother, his wife and caretaker, has a heart of gold and is the glue to our family. My sister did not let anyone or anything stand in her way of getting what we needed to take care of daddy. We are Ducky Strong! Thank you for your support and prayers. See you at the race! We would also like to dedicate this page in memory of my grandmother, Vera Ludwig-August 2007, who we miss everyday. Rest in peace daddy. We love you and miss you so much.

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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.