In 2013, I was a healthy 44 year old married mother of two. I ran my first 100 mile race that summer, finishing in 22 hours and 33 minutes. I went on to run a 100K three months later. Seven weeks after that 100K race, I was in the hospital having half of my pancreas, my spleen and several lymph nodes removed. The diagnosis: Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma.
In a heartbeat, I went from being one of the healthiest people I knew to being diagnosed with a highly lethal form of cancer. Pancreatic Cancer has a five-year survival rate of only 6% for all four stages In other words, if you take 100 patients with this diagnosis, in five years only 6 of us will be left standing. Pancreatic Cancer is the only form of cancer for which survival rates have not improved significantly over the last thirty years. While rates for other forms of cancer continue to drop, pancreatic cancer rates are on the rise. It is estimated that by the year 2020, pancreatic cancer will be the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
Being diagnosed with this illness has had a profound impact on me and my family. Pancreatic Cancer is a devastating diagnosis for anyone to receive. So far, I have been incredibly lucky in my journey.But many others who I have met along the way have not been so fortunate. I have lost friends, and I have friends who are currently in the fight for their lives. I am committed to doing anything I can to help raise funding for research into a cure for this disease.
I have teamed up with Project Purple, a Pancreatic Cancer nonprofit organization to bring a 5K event to Colorado Springs. Tonia's Run to Beat Pancreatic Cancer will be held on April 26, 2015 at 9 am in North Monument Valley Park.The course is flat and fast for those who want to test their limits at the 5k distance. It is also a very walker-friendly course, making it perfect for families who want to enjoy some time exercising together. We welcome all participants at this event! Please come join us as we attempt to stop this deadly disease in its tracks!
The entry form can be found at the link below:
I know that the Colorado running community has a huge heart. I have witnessed such generosity and kindness through my own journey. Please come join us as we run to beat Pancreatic Cancer!