Image of headshots of Lisa Niemi Swayze, Armin Shimerman, Kitty Swink, Jonathan Frakes, John Billingsley, Juan Carlos Coto, and a group shot of Little House on the Prairie stars Michael Landon, Michael Landon, Jr., Leslie Landon, and Melissa Gilbert.

PanCAN PurpleStride, the ultimate walk to end pancreatic cancer, takes place during the day on Saturday, April 27, but there may be some stars out!

Along with survivors, caregivers, researchers and others, celebrities who have been affected by pancreatic cancer will also be taking steps at PanCAN’s biggest fundraising event of the year, PurpleStride.

Hope will shine bright when we all come together in solidarity to raise awareness and funds to help those with pancreatic cancer.

Who Will Be Attending and Where?

This year, PanCAN announced an impressive lineup of celebrities lending their voices to PurpleStride:

Lisa Niemi Swayze – Actress, dancer, and widow of the late actor Patrick Swayze, Lisa will be a guest speaker at PurpleStride Los Angeles, aiming to inspire hope for caregivers dealing with loved ones’ diagnoses.

Star Trek Stars – The “Trek Against Pancreatic Cancer” team of Jonathan Frakes, Armin Shimerman, 20-year pancreatic cancer survivor Kitty Swink, and John Billingsley are joined by Juan Carlos Coto, honoring his brother, Manny Coto, an executive producer on “Star Trek Enterprise” who passed away from the disease. This dedicated team is boldly going to their fourth PurpleStride Los Angeles.

Team Little House on the Prairie” – Cast members, friends, and family of Michael Landon, including Leslie Landon Matthews, unite to support the cause.

Katie Yenkin – Daughter of the late Jerry Springer, Katie will honor her father’s memory by speaking at PurpleStride Chicago, on the first anniversary of his passing.

Miss America Madison Marsh – The first active-duty service member to win Miss America, Madison is fueled by a personal mission and will bring her powerful story to PurpleStride New York City as a featured guest speaker, honoring her mother, Whitney, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2018.


We are grateful to everyone who will be walking to fight against pancreatic cancer!

Niemi Swayze emphasizes the urgency of the disease, stating, “Patrick’s passing to pancreatic cancer at 57, just 22 months after diagnosis, was devastating, but his fight lives on. That’s why I’m back with PanCAN, raising awareness for this cruel disease. Early detection is difficult; symptoms are vague and there is no standard test for early detection. We need to change that. Every PurpleStride, every dollar we raise, brings us closer to a cure.”

Miss America Madison Marsh echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of raising awareness and funding research to prevent further loss.

“As Miss America, I have a platform to shine a light on important causes,” Madison said. “Pancreatic cancer took my mom from us far too soon, and that’s why I’m so proud to be a part of PanCAN PurpleStride. Together, we can raise awareness, fund research, and fight for a future where this disease doesn’t take any more lives.”

Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO of PanCAN, expresses gratitude for the support, recognizing that pancreatic cancer affects everyone.

“I am so grateful to Lisa Niemi Swayze, Madison Marsh, the Star Trek team, and everyone who is participating in PanCAN PurpleStride,” Julie said. “Pancreatic cancer does not discriminate and PanCAN PurpleStride gives everyone affected by this disease the opportunity to make an impact through greater awareness and fundraising.”

We Need You There!

As PurpleStride approaches, you are encouraged to register and join us! Participate in person at a PurpleStride event, do what you love in any way you’d like through PanCAN PurpleStride USA or donate directly to a PurpleStride event.

The money you raise goes to fund PanCAN’s vital programs like PanCAN Patient Services which provides free, one-to-one support to patients and their families, and support critical research initiatives to bring early detection strategies to life and accelerate new treatments options.

Raise or self-donate $50 or more and you’ll earn the official PanCAN PurpleStride 2024 T-shirt. Raise $1,000 or more and you’ll become a member of the PanCAN PurpleStride Grand Club and earn an exclusive Grand Club 2024 hoodie. You can learn more about PurpleStride 2024 here.

In memory of those we’ve lost and in support of those fighting, let’s walk together to create a world where all patients with pancreatic cancer will thrive.

Contact a PanCAN Patient Services Case Manager
Take steps with us to end pancreatic cancer. Register now for PanCAN PurpleStride, happening on Saturday, April 27, in a community near you.