Striding with Dona, with Love

Striding with Dona, with Love


Raised: $2,341

Goal: $5,000

Welcome to our team fundraising page!

Knowing, loving and being married to Dona was the joy of my life…and it was cut short WAY too soon.


Dona and I were professional colleagues when we met.  Despite being on opposite coasts, she mentored me and was instrumental in furthering my career.  That illustrates the kind of giving person she was.  While I was working in Lincoln, NE, she moved to Hutchinson, KS (she had retired from the federal government); we started dating, fell in love and got married.  Meanwhile, she started teaching in her undergraduate specialty, Communication.


Dona LOVED teaching, truly coming alive in the classroom.  She loved each of her students and looked for opportunities to mentor those who showed promise in the field of Communication.  She was also the “hostess with the mostest,” loving it as we co-hosted dinner parties and our annual Oktoberfest party.  She put tremendous energy into making sure our guests had a delightful culinary experience and felt completely welcome.  But most importantly, Dona was an unabashed lover of people—red, yellow, black, white, male, female, gay or straight—she saw value in every person and went to great lengths to make them feel valued and appreciated.  THAT is her legacy.


When I retired at the end of 2016, we had plans to travel.  Among other things, we planned to spend three months a year in a foreign city—a plan she came up with so we could really experience different cultures.  Barcelona was at the top of the list because she’d fallen in love with it when we visited in 2015.  But three months later, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and we undertook the battle with the disease.  She was valiant, withstanding the effects of the advancing disease and the side-effects of chemotherapy and continuing to pursue life goals as much as possible.  Unfortunately, she succumbed on Thanksgiving Day, 2018.


I walk in Purple Stride because 95% of pancreatic cancer patients are in stage IV when they’re diagnosed since there’s currently no way to detect it early.  I walk because only 50% of patients survive 18 months or more after they’re diagnosed and only 13% survive five years—by far, the lowest rates among all cancers.  And most importantly, I walk because waging hope is a gift I can give present and future patients and a way I can honor Dona’s memory.  I hope you’ll join our team or, if that’s not possible, support us.  Your donation helps the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) continue working to create better outcomes for patients and their families and supports PanCAN in their effort to increase the survival rates.  Please join us in the fight today.


Thanks much and blessings on you all.


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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.