14th annual Lustgarten Foundation pancreatic cancer walk raises money for medical research

Participants at the walk said they hope to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and eventually make it a curable disease.

News 12 Staff

Apr 23, 2023, 3:27 PM

Updated 398 days ago

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Thousands gathered at Westchester Community College to participate in the 14th annual Lustgarten Foundation pancreatic cancer walk on Sunday morning.
Organizers said all the donations collected during the event will contribute to lifesaving medical research.
Participants at the walk said they hope to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and eventually make it a curable disease.
Fundraiser Alexis Ventry has a personal connection to the cause. Her husband Andy died three months after being diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in December of 2002.
“It became my mission to fundraise for Lustgarten. My husband had hope. We have hope. So, we’re turning that hope into raising funds for other people,” she said.
Although the survival rate of pancreatic cancer is low, Northwell Health surgical oncologist Dr. Marco Melis said new medications may change that.
"Just a few months ago, I had a patient who had a new medication, a targeted treatment before surgery. By the time she got to the operating room, the tumor was completely gone. Something that wasn't imaginable until a few years ago,” he said.
As the medical field continues to search for a cure, experts say early detection is key to beating the illness.
“If you catch it early, you can be fortunate like me and have a life. if you don’t catch it early, the life expectancy is very short,” said survivor Brian Ruder.
Organizers said they hoped to raise a total of $100,000 by the end of the event.


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