Swayze goes to Washington DC February 2009
I'm Battling Cancer. How About Some Help, Congress?
By Patrick Swayze Sunday, February 8, 2009
". . . When I was growing up in Texas, my family had a simple response for challenges like this: "Stop talking about it, and do something about it." That's how I feel about finding more money for cancer research. My hope is that some day, the words "a cure" won't be followed by the words "is impossible."
Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials
Mary Ann Yerzy Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, Inc Appeal
Our charitable organization funds Awareness, Education, and Research to further the process of Eradicating Pancreatic Cancer, while exploring healthy lifestyles; by raising funds through Community Building Celebrations, and the Arts & Music.
"I can still hear her voice today sharing with me as we used to sit together on the couch, 'Never give up' "These defiant and poignant words spoken by Mary Ann Yerzy are a gift and challenge to all sufferers and families who battle Pancreatic Cancer.
Our fundraisers mark a beginning toward a goal that will be pursued relentlessly through the good offices of the Mary Ann Yerzy Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, Inc. (501C3).
That goal is to support research and education to not only alleviate suffering but to eradicate this dreadful death sentence of a disease.
The Foundation's Need:
The American Cancer Society estimates that 37,680 Americans (18,770 men and 18,910 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008. About 34,290 Americans (17,500 men and 16,790 women) will die of pancreatic cancer in 2008, making it the fourth deadliest cancer.
The Foundation's Charter:
This foundation begins in the home and the hearts of a real family that reaches out to other families.
This foundation builds community ties with friends and families to secure local resources.
This foundation will build national and international networks to identify and incorporate "best practices" for helping families in need, conducting scientific research, providing medical treatment, and promoting educational public awareness.
This foundation will utilize a three-tiered fund-raising and philanthropic strategy, thus insuring on-going support from local businesses, arts, music, and religious organizations, and national philanthropies.
The Foundation's Unique Character:
How do you reach millions of every day people who would otherwise not be aware of the speed and havoc of Pancreatic Cancer?
One of many of our fundraisers is to create and produce a movie short that has a "ripple effect" from one person to thousands and millions.
The short and long-term strength of the Mary Ann Yerzy Pancreatic Cancer Foundation is that we will raise and sustain interest in our foundation by means of a romantic film short called BOSTON ROOFTOPS.
The story's characters of Julie and Ryan presents a simple but true message about living life to the fullest through the eyes of children, artists, and seniors. The briefness of life implies the importance of the moment, especially when Julie is diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and the audience is drawn in to her poetic peace and Ryan's passion for his new love.
This film promises to capture the sympathy for not only the characters of the story, but the powerful lessons that audiences will take with them. The power of the film will be a strong catalyst for continuing support for the cause of fighting Pancreatic Cancer and finding a way to live life even in the face of death and suffering.
Our 2008 Recipient is the WellStar Cancer Program – Pancreatic Cancer
Help us help others- especially let us continue to be the voice for our loved ones who no longer have a voice to be heard - May their spirit live on in our daily lives and hearts!
Robert A. Yerzy - Founder, President
Why we MUST CELEBRATE each and every day!
What would you do if you knew you only had "X" amount of weeks or months to live? Watch this video from Randy Pausch. This is why we call our Fundraisers: Celebrations of Life. Please join us in the fun and celebration of life while supporting the much needed research and care for Pancreatic Cancer!
updated video : plea to Washington DC: March
click here: Randy Pausch
Passed away July 2008
Current in the News
Patrick Swayze diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, hopefully in the earliest of stages. Our prayers go out to you Mr. Swayze.
Our Condolences and Prayers to the Ted Robinson family.
"Ted Robinson, a prolific golf course designer with numerous courses that bear his influence in the Western United States, died Sunday at his home in Laguna Beach after a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 84. . . ."
"The American Cancer Society estimates that 37,680 Americans (18,770 men and 18,910 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008. About 34,290 Americans (17,500 men and 16,790 women) will die of pancreatic cancer in 2008, making it the fourth deadliest cancer."
About Pancreatic Cancer
The pancreas is an organ located in the upper middle of the abdomen. It is surrounded by the stomach, small intestine, liver and spleen. Pancreatic Cancer occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the pancreas or ducts. The exact cause of pancreatic cancer are still largely unknown, but certain factors are known as risk factors. The following factors are known to increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer; age, gender, race, cigarette smoking, diet, diabetes, environment and family history.
Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Cancer of the pancreas has been called a "silent" cancer because symptoms of the disease develop gradually. Often the cancer is not found until it is in advanced stages or has spread to other organs. Symptoms will depend on where the tumor is located, how large it is and whether it has spread to other sites. For example, if the tumor blocks the common bile duct preventing bile from passing into the intestines, jaundice may occur, turning the whites of the eyes and the skin yellow. The urine may also be dark in color.As the cancer grows, it may cause pain or pressure in the upper abdomen and in the back. The pain is often worse after eating or when lying down. Jaundice or abdominal pain may occur in the majority of patients. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, weakness and itching. (itching is associated with jaundice.)
-Virginia Mason Medical Center
"Cancer of the pancreas is abnormal cell growth in the tissue of the pancreas. The pancreas is about 6 inches long, and is located next to the small intestine, behind the stomach. This organ serves two main functions in the body. It produces juices and enzymes to help with digesting and absorbing food. It also produces several hormones, such as insulin, that regulate the way your body stores and processes food...."
What other researchers are doing to help battle against pancreatic cancer
". . .hopefully yield new insight into diseases of the pancreas and in particular, pancreatic cancer and the discovery of more effective treatments and reliable tools for earlier detection.” hopefully yield new insight into diseases of the pancreas and in particular, pancreatic cancer and the discovery of more effective treatments and reliable tools for earlier detection.”
They conclude: "Efforts will be needed to increase education on diet and physical activity, train health professionals, restrict advertisements of high-calorie and low-nutrient foods, limit access to unhealthy foods in schools and workplaces, levy taxes on sugary drinks and other foods high in calories, fat, or sugar, lower the prices of health foods, and promote physical activity in schools and workplaces. National cancer plans should include all these factors to reduce obesity, and thus decrease cancer incidence and increase survival..."
Detecting Pancreatic Cancer Early Research:
“One of the reasons pancreatic cancer is so deadly is because there isn’t an early diagnostic test,” Pierce said. “We hope to change that.”
From student's lab to commercial viability
"...Glazier, who is president of SpheroSense, has a personal stake in the fight against sepsis. His mother developed it after treatment for pancreatic cancer. She survived both the cancer and the sepsis, but only after three months on life support...."
more stories like this..."
Pancreatic cancer rates in Ireland set to double by 2020
"In the US, just $1.66 is spent on pancreatic cancer research for every million dollars spent on cancer research as a whole.."
Toad Venom Studied in Cancer Treatment
Doses Tested in Liver, Lung and Pancreatic Cancer
"Toad venom extract, which has been used in China to treat cancer, had some benefit and no apparent side effects in a small Chinese study involving patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (a type of liver cancer), as well as lung and pancreatic cancer, researchers say......"
". . . Zeroing in on mechanisms that allow metastasis to occur more efficiently -namely, presence of GPC1—in either the cancer cells or the host, offers new options against cancer. The approach seems promising . . ."
Cancer prevention: don't stress yourself
". . .Folate reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer . . ."
2008 Fundraisers- Community Building Life Celebrations!
Location: 3 Bears Cafe
Event: A Romantic Evening of Lucious Love Lines hosted by Thomas Baker and his Poets
Time: 7pm to 9pm
2. Date: March 12, 2008
Location: 3 Bears Cafe
Event: An Evening of Comedy hosted by Jed Fearon and Friends
Time: 7pm to 9pm
3. Date: April 16, 2008
Location: 3 Bears Cafe
Event: An Evening of Jazz and Blues with B Natural
Time: 7pm to 9pm
4. Date: May 14 & 17, 2008
Location: Marietta Wine Market
Event: An Early Evening of Wine Tasting with soothing music from B NATURAL
Time: Wed ~ 5pm to 7pm ** Sat~ 2pm to 4pm
5. Date: June 27, 2008
Location: World Changers Academy Basketball Gym, College Park, GA
Event: Celebrity Basketball Game with the Harlem Legends (retired Harlem Globetrotters Basketball Players!)More Celebrations to Come!
Foundations Supporting Pancreatic Cancer Research
* WellStar Foundation Marietta, Georgia
supports Pancreatic Research and Care
- STAT CLINIC
- Pancreatic Cancer Discussed
* MD Anderson Cancer Center
* Vanderbilt-Ingram CancerCenter
* December 12, 2006 new hope!
* Lustgarten Foundation
* National Pancreas Foundation
* National Cancer Institute
* Hirschberg Foundation for Pancreatic
* Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Research Center
* Mayo Clinic
* Johns Hopkins University
Helpful information about Pancreatic Cancer from Johns Hopkins
* Cancer OnLine
* Health definition St. Joseph Medical Center
* Greenbaum Cancer Center
* PanCan Foundation
* Pancreatic Cancer Alliance
Brief History Of Mary Ann Yerzy
*Married Robert A. Yerzy from San Francisco
*Homemaker, Neighborhood activist
*Sunday School Teacher, Church Youth Group Leader, Community Involvement with various youth organizations
*Less than 24 years of marriage, her husband, our father, passed away of a sudden heart attack in his early 40’s November 1974
*She always wanted to write children’s books and her autobiography. . . One Day!
All three of us, born in San Francisco and raised in Palo Alto, California, became one of the now more common dynamics of family living conditions of a single parent home in 1974. My mother became a single parent, which made life extremely challenging for us, especially my mother. Although, we didn’t see the challenges because of the way my mother decided to handle our family situation with such grace and positive outlook, my mother enrolled into school at the University of San Jose State University and earned her education degree to help support our family as my sister and I entered into the new phase of higher educational system of college. One event led to another and my mother ended up moving to Boise, Idaho to begin a new life as my younger brother enrolled into Boise State University.Through the course of the following years, my mother couldn’t secure a full time teaching job, for reasons we could only speculate. She ended up moving back home to Northern California near one of her brothers. She eventually bought a home in Oakdale, California. Wherever my mother lived, she was involved with her neighborhood, her community and church. Her underlying and motivating passion was her family – three children and daughter-in-law and two grandsons. No matter where she attended church, she would inevitably be a youth Sunday School Teacher.Before my mother married, she studied to be a nurse and always practiced healthy life choices along with good healthy food choices. Her only vise was smoking cigarettes. She never remarried after the passing of my father in 1974. Perhaps having two people she dearly loved passing suddenly was too much to handle. Yes, two loves. Her first love was a man who was a truck driver. They were engaged to be married and days before the wedding, a policeman came to the door to announce that her fiancée had been in a fatal jackknife truck accident. They surmised that he was over tired and fell asleep at the wheel and the truck jackknifed. Then that November 1974, Friday night at 11pm, again a policeman along with our church minister carried the message of my father passing of a sudden heart attack while he was on his spontaneous fishing trip in Northern California. At that time her love and passion was focused in the direction towards her family, neighborhood, church and community.If you could hear my mother, you would hear her say, “If you want to change something, use the power of the pen”. Not only did she write to officials who could or would make a difference, she loved to write children short stories, or at least that was her plan, when the time was right. One winter cold day in February 2002, she was checked out for abdominal pains. Soon after her tests, the doctor shared the news of spots on her liver and mass on her pancreas. With her past medical knowledge, she knew that this was a written death sentence. My brother had hope for recovery as my mother sat down to explain to our family what she had been diagnosed with. She was given less than 30 percent chance of living throughout the next year. She chose chemo treatment to fight and hope to win the battle of Pancreatic Cancer. Chemo on Monday; sick on Tuesday; fever, chills on Wednesday; an ok day on Thursday; weak with fever on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from lack of good sleep and reaction to treatment; then chemo on Monday again.This went on until June of 2002. She had made plans earlier before her diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer to visit my sister and me in Georgia. In June, the doctors said she needed a break from chemo and that this would be a good time to make her journey back to Georgia. The flight was extremely hard on her. Within a couple of weeks, she was admitted to the local hospital and eventually had total body blood transfusion. The doctors did all they could for her pain and attempted to slow the process down of the cancer progressing. After a couple of weeks in the hospital, the doctors spoke to us and said there is nothing more they could do. The facts were the facts – she can die here in the hospital or in a place more familiar to her. My sister prearranged hospice care to be at my sister’s home. This is where we watched my mother each and every hour for the next 3 weeks, die. Each living organ began to shut down or become dysfunctional. We watched our mother, who could walk and be totally independent, to be totally dependent. The saying is true, especially with Pancreatic Cancer, Once a man, twice a child. That is what my mother became; a child and incoherent. The last few days of her life here on earth was that of an infant. Every single need was taken care of by her children and grandsons. We were by her side as she breathed her last three small gasps of breath, on July 13, 2002 at 8:03pm. She loved outdoors especially the sounds of a thunder storm off in the distance. Minutes before she passed away, we heard the crackling of dry thunder and lightening off in the distance.
My mother was our greatest supporter in ANY project we took on. No matter how small or big, she was there supporting each of us. She encouraged my music writing and was a great supporter of the movie my brother and I are making, Boston Rooftops, A Romantic Movie Short. Unfortunately, she passed away before she could see the fruit of her support. She also never did get to write the children stories she would tell us about.
Not only has my mother not been able to see the end results of a project she believed in because of the Pancreatic Cancer, but a musician friend of mine in Salt Lake City, Utah. One of the songs which will be edited into the movie, Point Reyes, was recorded with Rick Weber. We had completed recording "Point Reyes" one cold snowy February late night in 1997. Rick mentioned that we should do an entire project for two guitars using my original music the following summer. A few weeks later, Rick calls me to let me know he only had 3 months to live. I thought he was joking. I let him know if he didn’t want to do the project in the coming summer, just say so. He explained to me that he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. At that time, I had no idea what kind of cancer that was. I assured him with encouraging words that he would be here to record the following summer. Three weeks later, he passed away from Pancreatic Cancer.
I can hear her (my Mom) voice today sharing with me as we use to sit side by side on her couch, “Never give up. Find the good in all that you do, see and experience in life. Never, ever give up.”
Please don’t give up. Please see the good in what we are doing. Please help support us. Please help us find a cure. Please help us find a way to prevent this horrible death sentence of Pancreatic Cancer. Please help us help you!
On December 2, 2006, the Mary Ann Yerzy Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, Inc. became a reality, not just a dream or hope for those who continue to suffer or for those who may contract this horrible cancerous death sentence.
We thank our friends and family members who generously contributed to help establish the MAYPCF, Inc. so that we may continue our mission to join others in spreading Awareness, Education, and Research to Eradicate Pancreatic Cancer!
We are the voice for those who no longer have a voice to be heard.