November is pancreatic cancer awareness month and the Old Town Boutique District (OTBD) is going PURPLE! This worldwide campaign to “Light It UP Purple” for pancreatic cancer awareness is on Thursday, November 19th and we want Alexandria to shine brightly on the map. Not only does switching out a lightbulb to purple help to shed light on this deadly disease, but it also gives honor to those who have passed or who are battling the third deadliest cancer in the United States.
Our passion to get involved was initiated by a local Alexandrian, Amy Benitez. Amy lost her Mom, Georgia Sobolewski, to pancreatic cancer on May 4, 2019. She approached OTBD with this initiative with hopes that Alexandria would get involved in the fight against the horrible disease that stole her Mom away from her and her family way too soon. This year, we’ve also mourned two great Americans who lost their lives to pancreatic cancer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Lewis. Megan Podolsky (OTBD President) and Maria Elizabeth (OTBD VP) immediately agreed to join Amy and get Alexandria prominently involved in the “Light It UP Purple” campaign.
The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is a mere 9% because most individuals receive a Stage 4 diagnosis. This is the lowest 5-year survival rate of ANY cancer. With mild symptoms, people often dismiss them as normal fluctuations in their bodies. The time is NOW to bring more awareness to the symptoms which include: mid-back pain, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, stomach pain, indigestion, new-onset diabetes, jaundice, and changes in stool. When pancreatic cancer is diagnosed at Stage 1, the five-year survival rate increases to 34%. It is estimated that in 2020, about 57,600 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and about 47,050 will die from this horrible disease.
The statistics are unsettling. However, with more awareness, research, and funding, we can ultimately increase the survival rate and give patients and their families more time together.
OTBD would love for all of Alexandria to join us and Light It UP Purple! On November 19th, simply change out a lightbulb to purple at your home or business and wear purple to show your support. If interested in supporting this cause, Salon DeZEN is donating purple lightbulbs while supplies last.
For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lastly, don’t forget to snap a picture of your purple light and attire and post to IG or FB with the hashtags #WPCD #immunovia #PANCaware #earlydetection.