Local residents are turning Edmonds purple on Sunday to call attention to one of our nation’s deadliest cancers—pancreatic cancer.
PurpleLight National Vigil for Hope is an effort by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to honor those who have fought pancreatic cancer and celebrate survivors, while raising community awareness about the devastating disease.
The Edmonds event, the only one in Washington state, is among 60 PurpleLight vigils taking place across the country with thousands expected to turn out in honor of a loved one or friend.
“We are proud to join communities across the country for the Annual PurpleLight National Vigil of Hope to turn the country purple,” said Joan Mabbutt, who lost her husband Buck to the disease in 2004 and is hosting the event.
The event planned entirely by local volunteers will begin at 7 p.m. at the Point Edwards Charter Club, 85 Pine St. To register, go to the Edmonds page of PurpleLight National Vigil for Hope.
“Many of us in the community have been touched by this insidious disease. The vigil gives us the opportunity to come together to gain both comfort and encouragement from one another while drawing attention to pancreatic cancer.”
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is the only major cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits at just six percent. The incidence of pancreatic cancer is rising, and it is expected that by 2030 (and perhaps as early as 2015) pancreatic cancer will be the second leading cause of cancer death.
This year, nearly 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 37,000 will die from the disease. In fact, 74 percent of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. There are no early detection methods and few effective treatment options exist.
“It is my honor to serve as the Puget Sound PurpleLight Chair to shed light on pancreatic cancer, a disease which has gone unrecognized and underfunded for far too long,” said Mabbutt.
“PurpleLight National Vigil For Hope will honor survivors as well as those we’ve lost to pancreas cancer, and provide an opportunity for a public call to action, asking everyone to contact their representatives in Congress to ask them to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act this year.”
To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Puget Sound Affiliate, go to www.pancan.org.