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SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Maria Rydelek of Shrewsbury knows personally how devastating pancreatic cancer can be. Rydelek lost her mother, Judy Blejwas, to the disease in 2008. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all cancers tracked by both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute: 94% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will die within 5 years of diagnosis, only 6% will survive more than 5 years. 74 % of patients will die within the first year of diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not has not improved substantially in over 40 years. The National Cancer Institute spends only 2% of its annual cancer resource budget on pancreatic cancer.
Rydelek could not ignore these statistics and organized the first Westborough Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk/Run in 2010 to benefit the Lustgarten Foundation. The Lustgarten Foundation is a not-for-profit organization created in 1998 to advance the science related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer. Thanks to Cablevision Systems Corporation’s commitment to underwrite all of the Foundation’s administrative expenses, 100% of every donation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research.
This year Rydelek is organizing the 4th Annual Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk/Run along with Molly McCarthy of Shrewsbury, Cheryl Labriola of Hopkinton and Angela Callery of Westborough. McCarthy joined the committee after losing her mother Marianne McCarthy of Shrewsbury to pancreatic cancer in 2012. In the past three years, this walk has raised over $188,000.00 for critically needed research.
This year the event will be held on April 28 at the Westborough Office Park at 1700 West Park Drive. Registration begins at 8am. There will be a 5k walk/run, a 10k run, Kids Fun Run (Ages 8 and younger) a Kids 1 Mile Fun Run 10:30 am (8-12 years old) and a silent auction on the day of the race. To register, donate, or volunteer (race-day volunteers are desperately needed) please visit http://13WestboroughWalkRun.kintera.org/