This past September, long-time volunteer and advocate for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), Diane Borrison, celebrated her 12th year of survival from the world’s toughest cancer.
When she was diagnosed in 2006, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer was only 6 percent. Though the survival rate has made a leap to 9 percent in recent years, Borrison’s 12 years of survival trumps this statistic.
In honor of her 12th year of survival, Borrison hosted PurpleFlight, a fundraising event to benefit PurpleStride Silicon Valley 2018, the walk to end pancreatic cancer on Nov. 3 in Downtown San Jose.
She set an ambitious goal to raise $6,000 during this night of wine tasting and celebration. The event was hosted at her home in San Jose, Calif. Sommelier Andrew Adelson from nationally renowned The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., led guests through a tasting of five wines.
After receiving a phone call from Borrison, who was looking for a creative way to celebrate her 12 years of survival, PanCAN staff member and fiancé of Adelson, Shanle Vandermeer, pitched the idea of PurpleFlight. Adelson and Vandermeer were happy to support Borrison in this way.
Borrison says, “It seems to me, the real story about PurpleFlight, is how a committed volunteer and staff member can work together to come up with a unique way to raise funds and awareness for PurpleStride.” She is referring to her teamwork with Vandermeer and bringing their personal networks together to do something special.
The fundraiser was an exciting and successful night, where Borrison was able to reach her fundraising goal of $6,000 and counting. She explains that her fundraisers are fueled by a passion to raise awareness of the disease.
“I am on a quest to let folks know that pancreatic cancer is not always a death sentence, especially when those diagnosed do not delay treatment, seek a second opinion and consider a clinical trial,” Borrison exclaims.
Throughout her fight, Borrison has been a volunteer leader, dedicated fundraiser and a champion for all patients of pancreatic cancer. For the last seven years, she has raised funds for PurpleStride, and provided PanCAN with valuable dollars to invest in research to increase the survival rate and reach the goal of doubling survival by 2020.
She has been able to do this through personal fundraising events like PurpleFlight, where her supporters can unite and demand better for all pancreatic cancer patients.
Borrison’s enthusiastic circle of supporters includes Chuck Cheatham. At PurpleStride Silicon Valley 2014, Cheatham pledged to match dollar for dollar up to $100,000 in honor of his close friend. Then in 2016, he pledged $100,000 once again, but this time to be spread over four years.
PurpleStride Silicon Valley 2018 is excited to announce the third year of The Chuck Cheatham Matching Challenge, where he will match any donation of $50 or more up to $25,000.
Get involved with your local PurpleStride today and host unique fundraisers like Diane Borrison’s PurpleFlight to advance research and create hope for patients and their families. PurpleStride isn’t the only thing PanCAN does, but everything they do depends on it.