Remembering Loved Ones: Hundreds Walk for Pancreatic Cancer

Hundreds of friends, families and survivors of pancreatic cancer came together to remember those who didn’t make it.
Lining the streets of downtown with purple, the Pancreatic Cancer Walk brings awareness to what is now the third leading cause of death.

John Runsvold survived pancreatic cancer three years ago.

Now hundreds are cracking a purple glowstick for every name of a loved one who couldn’t make it.
“It was life changing. Went through surgery, and chemotherapy. I never expected to have to do that, but you do what you have to do,” Runsvold said.
John says he’s far from the same person he was after fighting his battle.
“Everything’s amplified in life. You find out what’s really important. Family, friends, all the important things become much more important,” Runsvold said.
They say the symptoms are subtle, making it difficult to know when it’s time to get checked.
“You can be nauseous, you can lose weight, you can have back pain or stomach pain, so it can be many different things, so it’s hard to tell,” said public awareness chair LaRayne Longtine.
Longtine says they’ve already raised $35,000 dollars for the FM Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Group.

The organization is starting a gas card program, giving patients free gas when traveling from rural places to seek treatment.

Now they want to bring clinical trials to the F-M Area which are only used by 4.6% of victims.
“If you think that there’s any reason that you could have pancreatic cancer, if you have a family history, ask your doctor to check for it,” Longtine said.
For those battling the disease, John has one message from the perspective of a survivor.
“Never give up. Try what you have to do and never give up. There’s hope out there,” Runsvold said.
To find out how you can help their cause, click here.

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