Volunteer takes strides to end pancreatic cancer ahead of fundraiser

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AUSTIN, Texas — When relatives comes to visit Austin, Lady Bird Lake is a must-see place. It definitely was for 26-year-old Austin Goldberg and his father, Jerry.

"Oh yeah, we usually come here all the time, he loved walking the trails. We used to bring the dog down and we go around the trails all the time," Goldberg said. "Chicagoan through and through, but [he] loved coming to Austin."

Goldberg lost him to pancreatic cancer in October. The disease carries one of the lowest five-year survival rates, in the single digits. It is also the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.

"The timeline isn’t very long and that can be really drastic, in terms of emotionally figuring out how that’s going to work with your family and planning at the same time, trying to save a loved one,” he said. “It takes a tremendous toll on your family, resources, stress obviously."

But Goldberg is not walking the path to doubling the survival rates alone. He has connected with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Anne Grigg is the co-chair of the group’s Austin affiliate. She also lost her mother to pancreatic cancer.

“I have young kids,” Grigg said. “My mom was so excited to be a grandma and she was the world’s best grandma."

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network says only 9 percent of pancreatic cancer patients live more than five years. The organization wants to double that number by 2020.

Ahead of its biggest event the year on June 25 at Camp Mabry, volunteers, many affected by pancreatic cancer are raising awareness. Every step at the annual PurpleStride 5K makes a difference to advancing research and supporting patients.  

“I love seeing people get together and really just supporting one another as people who have been affected by pancreatic cancer families, care givers, survivors,” Grigg said. “It’s an instant community.”

For more information, visit purplestride.org.

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(Courtesy/Pancreatic Cancer Action Network)

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