As a nurse practitioner working at BC Cancer, I have seen the impact of philanthropy on patients' lives first hand.

Much of the work that I take part in to advance patient care for those with pancreatic cancer care is made possible by the generosity of donors to the BC Cancer Foundation. The clinical trials that are taking place – some of which are proving to be an effective means of treatment for some patients - wouldn’t exist without their support.         

Every community gathering and every donation in support of research into this disease sparks new insight into treatments and brings hope to those who need it most.   Indeed, the statistics are daunting – the five-year survival rate remains among the lowest of all cancers today – and therefore support is urgently needed.

But the gathering of people at events such as Cypress Challenge, every donation in honour of a loved one, also reassures patients and families that there is a community behind them, fighting for them and for their futures.  I can’t overstate how comforting this can be for patients facing this disease.

This past Cypress Challenge, where an incredible $440,000 was raised to progress pancreatic cancer research, was an amazing experience.  And this support doesn’t only help patients now, but also those who may face this disease in the future. 

We heard stories from those who have lost a loved one to this disease, and from those who are currently facing treatment as well.  But what stuck out the most is the commitment we all have to change the story for others.    

The bravery and strength of those touched by this disease inspires me every day in my work.   People with pancreatic cancer have very complex medical needs and it is so important that they have access to a multi-disciplinary team to assist in their care and management in order to alleviate symptoms and optimize their quality of life.

I truly believe that through the research projects in the near future, we are going to learn so much more about pancreatic cancer and will be able to offer more and more effective treatments for patients.

We have already come a tremendous distance in our understanding of this disease and uncovering the potential for individualized treatments.  

Every year, we get closer to improving treatment management and ultimately, improving outcomes for this disease. With your support, we can change the story together. 

Thank you for tuning into my blog this month.

Until next time,

Carolyn