Friday, November 9, 2007

Ellen's Legacy - 1st Pancreatic Cancer Fundraising Event November 11th

We created a team, Ellen's Legacy, to walk in Atlanta's 2nd annual (and our 1st) pancreatic cancer walk to benefit PanCan. You can learn more about pancreatic cancer and the walk by visiting Mike, Harrison and I are all so honored that many family and friends have chosen to walk with us this Sunday in honor of my mom. Our team consists of Bethany, Madeline, Sherrie, Eric, Suzanne, Marley and Heather. This is my mom's story from our team's page.

Go Ellen's Legacy!!!! (This is a picture of my mom on her 1st birthday)
This May, my family and my mom, Ellen, and stepfather, Jack, returned from one of our favorite vacation spots - Disney World. Prior to and during our trip, my mom complained of a burning sensation in her ribs. When we returned home, she decided to go see her doctor. The doctor was unsure and scheduled a CAT scan. The scan was on June 7, 2007 and she was diagnosed later that day with metastatic pancreatic cancer. This was her greatest fear as she reviewed the possible outcomes of the scan the day before. Never did it cross our minds that in fact it would be pancreatic cancer.

June 7th was a turning point in my life and hers, as well as in all of our family and friends. It was the last day I worked for the next several months, it was the last day I slept well, and it was the last day that I did not spent next to my mom. From that day on, my family dropped everything to start on this journey with her. We hoped the journey would be a long one, but our wishes often aren't answered. Instead, my mom died in her sleep with us nearby on October 4, 2007, three days short of 4 months from diagnosis.

During the 4 months we had some really great times, but we also had some really hard times. PanCan provided information and support to us during this journey and it was not until a week after her death that I discovered this upcoming walk in Atlanta.

This walk will mark the start of our new life without my mom by our side, but we will continue to live, hope and pray for a day when pancreatic cancer patients are at least given options for a chance at increased survival.

I promised my mom that her death would not be in vain and that we would continue to live our lives in a way to create a better world for us and those around us. This is just the first step in our new journey and, as we promised...we won't stop!

We love you mom, Ashley, Michael and Harrison