For months, the WAGE HOPE® rallying cry of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has been motivating thousands fighting this devastating disease. Starting in May, this rallying cry will be heard for the first time in several cities across the country at our inspirational, celebratory PurpleStride events.
“We are committed to giving hope to everyone touched by pancreatic cancer and inspiring them to be active participants in the fight against it. The WAGE HOPE call to action will empower people at PurpleStride events to take to the streets and make their communities aware of this brutal disease,” said Angel Montanez, Director, National Affiliate Relations & Strategy.
Every PurpleStride event will be infused with the WAGE HOPE call to action because it expresses the spirit behind everything we do as an organization to raise awareness, advance research and improve patient outcomes. “The WAGE HOPE message makes a direct connection with people that needs no explanation, which is essential to building momentum for this cause. It will punctuate the much-loved Know It. Fight It. End It. chant we call out at every PurpleStride event,” said Tammie Meena, Senior Manager, Event Development.
Participants enjoy our PurpleStride events throughout the year. However, the months of May and June burst with the signature run/walks as 20 of them get underway from coast to coast, including events in San Francisco, Denver, Omaha, Indianapolis, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham and Washington, D.C. By the end of June, more than 50 events will have taken place nationwide since last July.
PurpleStride events have grown in popularity over the years, now drawing more than 80,000 participants a year and adding more major cities such as Las Vegas and Miami this year. Survivors, families, friends, healthcare professionals and researchers lace up their sneakers not only to walk or run for the cause but also to connect with the pancreatic cancer community in a supportive and fun setting.
Many participants festoon themselves in purple, wearing everything from wacky wigs to funny moustaches to make the event more entertaining and more eye-catching – all the better to spread greater awareness. The events are equally enjoyable for children, as they get to play in the Purple PlayZone filled with arts, crafts and games.
“It’s definitely a carnival-like atmosphere,” said eight-year pancreatic cancer survivor Frannie Flatau. “Ultimately, I think it’s the hope in people’s hearts that makes PurpleStride events so much fun. I’m looking forward to a lot more fun this year, as I’ve vowed to participate in 16 PurpleStride events in order to walk 80 kilometers during the year I turn 80 years old.”
Since 2010, 79-year-old Flatau has attended more than 20 PurpleStride run/walks in 14 locations throughout the United States. Flatau explained, “So often I demonstrate to people that pancreatic cancer is not a death sentence simply by showing up, which is one of the reasons I keep showing up. And I love giving back by walking and talking with people at PurpleStride.”
From local survivors and volunteers to major corporations and medical institutions, PurpleStride supporters contribute in many ways, including serving as guest speakers, forming teams, sponsoring the event and asking community leaders to join the awareness efforts.
Delaware’s first PurpleStride Chair, Amanda Hapgood, whose father had fought pancreatic cancer for eight years, started volunteering for the organization to continue the fight in honor of him. “My dad knew I wanted to do something significant to combat this disease, and he told me that I could change the course of it in a way that best suited me,” said Hapgood. “I found that way through PurpleStride.”
Hapgood continued, “All of the volunteers on our PurpleStride team work to create an amazing event that generates a sense of community to impact the disease in a positive way.” Experiencing an understanding community is really the touchstone of PurpleStride events. Hapgood added, “People see the passion of our volunteers and our participants, and they want to be a part of it.”
She said, “In 2013, after we finished setting up early, volunteers started dancing to the event DJ’s music and participants joined them. Last year, when a first-time participant crossed the finish line, her boyfriend proposed to her. We can’t wait to see what wonderful moments are going to happen at this year’s event.”
Whether a participant is focused primarily on the run/walk or the communal aspect, everyone feeds off that passionate energy and cheers for each other throughout the event. Within this supportive environment, PurpleStride events offer an easy, fun way to connect with a community and a cause driven by passion and hope.
Honorary Chair of the PurpleStride Los Angeles event, Dr. Nicholas Nissen, a pancreatic cancer surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, is greatly inspired by the run. “The courage of the patients and their families is so evident on that day as they are all out walking together and sharing their journey,” said Dr. Nissen. “I am also inspired by the commitment of healthcare providers and hospitals, who’ve stepped up their efforts to support the event this year. This shows how important this is. And, I am truly encouraged by the generosity of donors. It not only shows support for the cause but also shows support for all of us fighting pancreatic cancer.”
More than $12 million was raised through PurpleStride events during the previous fiscal year. Teams and individual participants often give financially as a way to pay tribute to loved ones, spread awareness and support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s fight against this deadly disease.
Join us and thousands of fellow supporters as we seek to change the future of pancreatic cancer through the uplifting experience of PurpleStride events. Find out if one of our run/walks is happening near you or a city where you can participate with family and friends.
For a complete list of upcoming PurpleStride events, please visit www.purplestride.org. Be sure to check back as more details and dates for additional PurpleStride events become available.
If you are familiar with or employed by a company that might be interested in supporting a local PurpleStride event, learn more about sponsorships and contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-272-6226.