This October, I will be competing (and hopefully, completing) a full Tough Mudder, "a hardcore 12 mile obstacle race - designed by British Special Forces to challenge the toughest of the tough" (yikes, I know). In a slight push for some external-motivation, I've decided to dedicate my personal leg of the race in honor of those affected by Pancreatic cancer, specifically my Vavoa (Portuguese for "grandmother") , who unfortunately passed from Pancreatic cancer this past June.
My Vavoa was full-heartedly altruistic – quietly selfless and unwavering in her ability to forgive. She devoted her whole self to ensure everyone was loved, and as such deserved the best the world could offer. But, as life unfairly goes, my Vavao was diagnosed with stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer in 2016 at the age of 72. Not atypical to most prognosisis, she was stamped with no more than 5 years to live and a digressive quality of life, at best. She passed away in June 2018, unable to eat, drink, control her bowels, talk...She was a soul trapped in a lifeless body.
Because of the nature of her passing, I choose to remember/ cherish my Vavoa pre-cancer; the things she taught me, the love she showed me, and the memories we created together. But, I also choose to not forgot my Vavoa from 2016- 2018; not because of who she became, but because of the cancer that caused her so much pain.
For some not-so-fun facts about Pancreatic Cancer: "Pancreatic cancer takes 91 percent of its victims within five years and kills more people than breast cancer in the United States. The disease is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and it is projected to become the second around 2020." (pancan.org, 2018) Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths largely because there are no detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible.
So, in the names of those who have suffered, I am kindly asking you to join me and Project Purple in raising funds for Pancreatic Cancer research.
Thank you for helping make my miles matter! I truly, truly appreciate you!!!