Survivor Camille Moses spoke to WUSA-9 about her battle with pancreatic cancer.

Survivor Camille Moses spoke to WUSA-9 about her battle with pancreatic cancer.

Over the past 48 hours, hundreds of pancreatic cancer advocates, including nearly 100 survivors, took Washington, D.C., by storm to make their voices heard as they advocated for increased cancer research funding during Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) National Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day.

While their reasons for attending were different, their pleas were the same: Demand Better. For Patients. For Survival. For Breakthroughs.

As a sea of “purple people” took to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress, PanCAN leaders, including president and CEO Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, participated in media interviews to raise awareness of the disease and to ensure cancer research funding remains a national priority.


Here are a few highlights from those interviews:

  • CBS News: National news anchors Vladimir Duthiers and Anne-Marie Green spoke with Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, and six-year pancreatic cancer survivor Camille Moses about the need for increased cancer research funding.
  • ABC News: Pancreatic cancer survivors who brought their fight to Capitol Hill received national attention from ABC News.
  • C-SPAN Radio: Fleshman and Steve Scully spoke on C-SPAN Radio about why pancreatic cancer is the world’s toughest cancer and how PanCAN is advocating for increased federal funding for cancer research.
  • WUSA-9:  Survivor Camille Moses, joined by PanCAN’s Associate Director of Community Engagement Kevin Sims, explained to “Off Script on 9” how doctors told her to get her affairs in order. That was six years ago.
  • Gray DC: A father of seven speaks about the importance of Advocacy Day because for him, it’s not just about saving his own life, it’s also about surviving so his children have their dad around.
  • Nebraska Radio Network: PanCAN volunteer Melinda Thatch explained why federal funding is so important in the fight to end pancreatic cancer. The reason -- 80 percent of all research dollars come from the federal government.
  • Daily Mail: Moses detailed her fight against pancreatic cancer to the United Kingdom-based publication. She also explained why it was important for her to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to ask them for more funding for pancreatic cancer research.
  • Cape Gazette: Matt Wilson, a 36-year-old, seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor, details why he supports PanCAN’s life saving mission to improve patient outcomes to this Delaware publication.

PanCAN advocates didn’t just turn the airwaves and halls of Congress purple; they also took to TwitterFacebookInstagram and even YouTube to #DemandBetter and make members of Congress #PANCaware.

“Last February, I lost my father to pancreatic cancer and this year was my first Father’s Day without him. I am grateful for the opportunity to join with these Americans from every state this morning and I join them in urging my colleagues to consider this year investing more in research to end the scourge of pancreatic cancer.” – Sen. Chris Coons (Del.) said before the Senate and President Trump on Tuesday.

Prior to his speech before his peers and the president, Coons spoke to a room of PanCAN advocates to motivate and encourage them before heading to Capitol Hill to with their own state representatives.  

“Imagine a world where your loved ones are still with us or are not suffering from a disease where only 9 percent live beyond five years,” said Coons to Advocacy Day attendees. “That’s happened in lots of other diseases. It can happen with pancreatic cancer.”

Watch Sen. Chris Coons’ full speech on Facebook, or by clicking the play button below:

Here are a few featured moments captured on social media:

Over 100 pancreatic cancer survivors wearing purple gathered in front of Capitol Hill.

Survivors: This year, more survivors registered for Advocacy Day than ever before – 130 in all!

A young pancreatic cancer advocate pictured in 2013 and 2018.

“Advocacy Day was amazing. This year went really well. Congressman John Rutherford (Fla.) and the staff members from the Senators really seemed to care.” -- Jackson Carnaghi at Advocacy Day, age 9 (left) and age 14 (right).

Julie Fleshman on the WUSA-9 TV set being interviewed for Advocacy Day.

“Every year, we are making progress toward our goals because of you. Every year, we ask you to come to Advocacy Day, and every year you show up, ready to Demand Better. I want to welcome all of our first-time attendees. I also want to welcome back people who come back year-over-year.” – Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, PanCAN’s president and CEO at WUSA-9.

A PanCAN research grantee joined Advocacy Day with his wife and their infant child.

“We’re here to demand better for our future.” – PanCAN grantee Jonathan Brody, PhD, with his wife Abby and their son Ethan.

Four experts stand with PanCAN president and CEO for the scientific panel on pancreatic cancer.

New this year was the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Scientific Panel where leaders in the pancreatic cancer space talked about the latest developments coming out of research labs across the country. (Left to right: Julie Fleshman, Drs. Ned Sharpless, Gloria Petersen, Mace Rothenberg and Lynn Matrisian).

Kids make their voices heard on the Hill, as PanCAN offers special programing for young adults.

They can’t yet run for office or even vote, but kids across the nation are making their voices heard to advocate for what they believe in by meeting with their state lawmakers in the Nation’s Capital.

Advocates dressed in purple as they surge toward Capitol Hill.

Advocates, volunteers, caregivers, researchers, survivors, patients and medical experts literally turned Capitol Hill purple on Tuesday, for National Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day.

Get complete Advocacy Day 2018 coverage:

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