November 16th will be proclaimed Pancreatic Cancer Day in Grande Prairie in support of Canada’s National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in November.
Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in Canada and awareness advocate Tamara Gasior says it’s time to shift from sympathy to survival.
“It [pancreatic cancer] continues to be underfunded, overlooked, and out-paced in research,” Gasior says.
“The statistics are very bleak, so after my mom was diagnosed it was something no one wanted to talk about because it felt very hopeless, but putting it in the closet isn’t going to change anything.”
Currently, Gasior says there is no standardized test like a mammogram or colonoscopy available to detect the disease, despite early detection being critical to treatment.
In recognition of the awareness day, Grande Prairie residents are encouraged to wear purple, illuminate their homes with purple lights, and start conversations around Pancreatic Cancer awareness.
“Even just displaying purple lights, you don’t have to know a lot about it to bring awareness, so even someone questioning- why do my neighbours have purple lights, will encourage people to research and open their eyes to just how deadly this specific type of cancer really is.”
Two landmarks in the city will go purple in support of the cause, the sundial from November 12-18 and the Downtown Association will be displaying purple lights at 99 Avenue and 100 Street, with dates to be determined.