A sign tells why this PanCAN advocate is involved

Stories make all the difference when PanCAN advocates share them with Congress to urge more pancreatic cancer research funding.

“Advocating for pancreatic cancer patients makes my soul happy.”

This sentiment was one of hundreds of testimonials shared during the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) first-ever virtual Advocacy Week June 15-19, 2020.

Actor Mindy Kaling supports PanCAN's advocacy efforts

Mindy Kaling, noted actor, shared PanCAN’s Advocacy Week with her 5 million Instagram followers.

And your stories, shared during virtual meetings with Congress, and in phone calls, emails and tweets to their offices as part of the Advocacy Week activities, paid off. Thanks to your participation and tenacity, every single member of Congress heard our message about the urgent need for increased research funding for pancreatic cancer.

That message from our advocates was amplified with TV media coverage and social media posts by people passionate about the disease, among them:

  • Actor and advocate Mindy Kaling (who has 5.3 million followers on Instagram) posted about Advocacy Week on her Instagram stories. She lost her mother to pancreatic cancer.
  • Former Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), who has pancreatic cancer, tweeted several times about Advocacy Week and PanCAN.
  • Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) tweeted about his virtual meeting with PanCAN advocates.
  • Lisa Niemi, wife of Patrick Swayze, shared on her Instagram the importance of Advocacy Week.
  • Daughter of pancreatic cancer survivor interviewed on Boston ABC affiliate

    Ivy Watts, right, was interviewed about the importance of advocacy on the Boston ABC affiliate. Ivy’s mom is a pancreatic cancer survivor.

  • This news story from Boston’s ABC station, highlighted the stories of several PanCAN advocates who participated in Advocacy Week, including Ivy Watts, whose mother is a pancreatic cancer survivor.
  • From Northwest Arkansas, the NBC station interviewed PanCAN advocates and volunteers Mary Katherine Wilson and Jennifer Allison about Advocacy Week.
  • And in Columbus, Ohio, PanCAN volunteer and advocate Jamie Foltz was interviewed on the NBC station’s broadcast.

On our virtual Honor Wall, created for all our advocates, we read many touching reasons for why advocacy is important and meaningful:

“My mother was strong and resilient,” one person shared. “I was only 20 years old when I lost her to the disease. She was 43. She died in 38 days. We NEED change.”
Another advocate said, “I do this so others receiving this diagnosis will have better treatment options. I advocate so there will be more survivor stories to tell. I advocate so patients and their families don’t have to experience the devastation caused by this disease.”

Research funding is crucial to improving outcomes for the world’s toughest cancer – 80% of funding comes from the federal government.

That’s why these successes from Advocacy Week 2020 – thanks to you, our amazing advocates – are so impactful:

We’re so grateful for all you do for the pancreatic cancer community.

Contact a Patient Central Associate
Get even more involved today – there are so many ways you can be part of our movement to change outcomes for pancreatic cancer!