Pancreatic cancer is known as the silent killer. By the time most people are diagnosed with this deadly disease, the cancer has progressed to Stage IV, meaning that it has metastasized, or spread, to another part of the body.
Because it’s hard to detect pancreatic cancer, the five-year survival rate is only 11%.
With no early detection method, symptoms occur late in the disease and include back or abdominal pain, weight loss, jaundice, itchy skin and dark urine.
Although it’s considered “rare,” most of us know someone who has suffered from this devastating disease, and it’s the third leading cause of cancer-related death.
On Sunday, September 18th, a team, known as Bell’s Angels, committed to raising awareness – and funds – to find a cure for pancreatic cancer participated in the Lustgarten Foundation Walk for Research in Marine Park.
Cantor Zachary Konigsberg kicked off the event by singing the National Anthem, and an energetic Zumba workout followed to get the crowd warmed up and ready to walk.
Geena Bell lost her mother to the disease in 2010 and has held the event every year in her memory, with a pause during the COVID pandemic. She thanked the crowd for participating in the walk, raising a tremendous amount of money and for all the generous volunteers and sponsors who made the event possible.
“We started this walk 12 years ago in memory of my mother, Joanne Bell. Over the years, we are proud to say that we have seen this walk grow exponentially. This is our first year back since the pandemic, and I couldn’t be more excited. We are back and stronger than ever.”
Family friend, Sue Ann Partnow, followed, stating it was wonderful to see the outpouring of love for the Bell family. “Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of knowing Joanne, but I have heard so many good things about her and what a special person she was. Everyone who was touched by Joanne told me about her kindness, compassion and giving nature. Her caring and concern is reflected in her children, Geena and Michael.”
The Lustgarten Foundation is the world’s largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research, and 100% of Walk donations fund cancer research.