Fund A Cure for Pancreatic Cancer, a Newtown-based nonprofit, has donated $47,000 to the Pancreatic Cancer Surgical Research Fund at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.
The $47,000 was raised through the annual Run Over Cancer 5K held every July in Newtown, as well as fundraising efforts from the Love for Life Dragon Boat team, which competed in the Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival in October.
The timing of the donation coincides with Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which is November.
The check was presented Thursday, as Fund A Cure board members visited the hospital's Pancreatic Cancer Research Team, led by Dr. Charles Yeo and Dr. Jonathan Brody.
The $47,000 donation is $17,000 more – or 64 percent -- . Since 2009, Fund A Cure for Pancreatic Cancer has given $102,000 to the Pancreatic Cancer Research Team at Jefferson.
“This money allows us to pursue very promising projects about how pancreatic cancer cells become resistant to commonly used chemotherapies used against this disease,” said Brody, Director of Surgical Research at Thomas Jefferson University. “Ultimately, this will allow us to understand why certain pancreatic cancer cells survive under such harsh conditions and ultimately become lethal.
Brody added that federal funding is at an all-time low for cancer research. “It is these resources which allow us to perform these critical experiments. Additionally, these funds will help support the next generation of Ph.D. students that will study this complex disease by helping to fund their training,” Brody said.
Robert Ciervo, Fund A Cure for Pancreatic Cancer Chairman, thanked all of the families of those lost to pancreatic cancer who have helped the organization increase their fundraising efforts every year.
“I have to take a moment to thank Marissa Gibson and her family, as Marissa was our top fundraiser for the Run Over Cancer 5K with $5,900 and Christine Edmonds and her friends and family who helped raise well over $12,000 to sponsor the Dragon Boat Team this year,” Ciervo said. “While pancreatic cancer continues to take our loved ones, we can fight back by giving researchers, such as Dr. Brody and Dr. Yeo at Jefferson, the tools they need to stop this deadly disease.”
Ciervo added that government leaders in Washington should provide adequate funding for pancreatic cancer research. “While we are grateful for the wonderful work at Jefferson, we also hope that our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. realize that they must properly fund pancreatic cancer research in order for cures to be found.”
“It is unconscionable to many of us that the National Cancer Institute, which has a nearly $5 billion budget, only allocates 2 percent of its funding towards pancreatic cancer research, when pancreatic cancer, with only a 1 percent long term survival rate, is the deadliest cancer known to man,” Ciervo said.