Mrs. Leanne Marie Bhardwaj
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This coming year, thousands of Canadians will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told there is little hope for survival. I have chosen to join Pancreatic Cancer Canada in their fight to SAVE LIVES by raising funds to support early detection research and improve treatment options.
Of all forms of cancer, pancreatic is the most lethal. There is no prevention, no early detection and limited treatment options. Unlike other cancers, the survival rate has not improved in the last 40 years and it remains the only cancer with a 5-year survival rate still in the single digits at 6%.
Pancreatic cancer is North America's 4th leading cause of cancer death but sadly it receives little public recognition and remains severly under funded. As a result, progress in treating and curing pancreatic cancer has been slow.
We believe ... there CAN be a future without pancreatic cancer. We need your support to reach our goal and make this dream a reality.
In December 2010, one week before Christmas my mom, Marian was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My mom's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was difficult because she was misdiagnosed twice and told she was fine only to be told weeks later that she did have this deadly cancer. The treatment options are limited and for most there is little hope. My mom was one of the fortunate few who had surgery as an option. She bravely underwent the whipple surgery in January of 2011 and came through it like a true fighter. After her follow up consultation with the Cross Cancer she was prescribed 6 months of grueling chemo. She was given the choice of trying chemo or not and she decided to go ahead with it because she said it would be worth it, even if it just gives her an extra year to watch her grandkids grow. My brother and I told her that while she was going through chemo we would train for a half marathon to raise funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer. The chemo has been very hard on my mom and dad(as he has been there with her and supporting her through everything) she has difficulty eating and has lost significant weight, has had dizzy spells, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and lost most of her hair. In spite of that, during her chemo treatments, she has managed to move into her new home with my dad, attend her grandkids recitals and plays, participate in family get togethers, visit with friends, and have a family house warming party where she insisted on cooking a turkey supper for everyone. She has not let this disease stop her from living and for that she has become more than my wonderful mom but a hero and a courageous fighter of pancreatic cancer!
My mom is still my courageous hero but sadly lost her battle with Pancreatic Cancer on July 24th, 2012.
Even though, for several months, my mom continued to do great after the chemo treatments, her cancer came back in the spring of 2012. She put on a brave face and didn't let on to us that she wasn't feeling well until June. Even after she told us that she had lost her appetite again, I still held out hope that the cancer hadn't come back until she had to go into the hospital on July 12th. When it was confirmed that the cancer was back and had spread to her liver, she spent her few remaining days left making sure that my dad and us kids knew that we would be okay without her. Her only request was that she spend her last days at home with family and friends and not in a hospital. On July 18th on my mom and dad's 48th wedding anniversay, we successfully implemented operation "Bust Grandma out of the Hospital." Our entire family pitched in to set up my mom and dad's home for her care and we gathered together to surround my mom with love and support.
Just as my mom wanted we all are doing okay without her but I miss her and think of her every day! I think about the all the wonderful things my mom has already missed over this past year that she would have enjoyed. Even though she had a wonderful life and lived to be 69 years old it was still a life cut too short from Pancreatic Cancer. I know I am not alone in losing someone I love to Pancreatic Cancer so my brother and I are going to continue our goal of running half marathons across Canada to raise awareness and funds with the wish that one day there will be hope for those impacted by this terrible disease.
We started in Kelowna in 2011, last year we ran in Calgary and on May 26th we are running a half marathon in Saskatoon. Please support us in our fight against Pancreatic Cancer by donating! Together we can make a difference!
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