November 21, 2009
Posted: 10:22 AM ET
NOTE: Tonight on LKL, a very special interview with Lisa Niemi, Patrick Swayze's wife, and his brother Donny Swayze.
And we want to hear from you: What are your favorite Patrick Swayze memories. Post them HERE or below, and we'll use them on the show tonight.
Julie Fleshman is President and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. In this LKL Web Exclusive, she offers her thoughts on the death of Patrick Swayze.
Patrick Swayze was a shining star in Hollywood darkened much too soon by pancreatic cancer. On behalf of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, I offer my sincere condolences to his wife, Lisa, the Swayze family and his millions of fans around the world. He will be truly missed.
Mr. Swayze increased awareness of the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States by speaking out publicly about his diagnosis. His surprise appearance in September 2008 at the Stand Up to Cancer telethon and his unabashed interview with Barbara Walters in January 2009 left us in awe as he vowed to fight this disease. He exuded an impassioned sense of hope, and a true belief that he would make it long enough to find a cure.
He was a beacon of hope for the entire pancreatic cancer community, and for nearly two years his fighting spirit helped him to beat the odds that were clearly stacked against him. In fact, 76% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis and the five year survival rate is just 5% because there are no effective early detection tools or treatments for this disease. Despite these statistics, pancreatic cancer is the least funded among leading cancer killers in our country.
Mr. Swayze made a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer and you can too. Join the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org) and take action to ensure progress is made to give pancreatic cancer patients a fighting chance. Your help is critical now more than ever because the pancreatic cancer incidence is projected to increase by 12% in 2009 and by 55% by 2030.
If you or someone you know is facing pancreatic cancer please have them contact the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at 877-272-6226. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the only national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. Please join us today.
Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA
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