Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) staff, volunteer leaders and celebrities turned local airwaves purple over the weekend to raise awareness, as thousands get ready to lace up their sneakers for PurpleStride New York City, the walk to end pancreatic cancer

On April 7, PanCAN Chief Communications Officer Michael Rosen and New York Affiliate Chair Tommy Barquinero sat with FOX 5 New York’s Antwan Lewis to raise awareness about signs and symptoms of the disease, and the critical role PurpleStride plays in PanCAN’s mission to double survival by 2020.

“It’s a matter of people understanding the symptoms and going to their doctor,” Rosen emphasized. “We [PanCAN] can offer everyone personalized support and services.”

Barquinero lost his father in June 2016 at the age of 59 after an almost three-year battle. “It’s a way to keep our relationship with my father alive,” said Barquinero on why he and his mother participate in PurpleStride. “The statistics are certainly sobering, so I’m committed to making a difference.”

L-R: Singer/songwriter Erin Willett, Bob Salter and Michael Rosen at WFAN studios.

On April 8, Rosen and Barquinero were joined by PanCAN Chief Medical Officer Victoria Manax, MD, and singer/songwriter Erin Willett for a two-hour segment on WFAN Sports Radio with host Bob Salter.

“The best thing for a patient to do who has been recently diagnosed is to contact our Patient Services,” Manax encouraged. “We’re committed to ensure that we can double survival by 2020.”

Willett, whose father died in 2011 while she was competing on NBC’s “The Voice,” said, “It’s [PurpleStride], a place to find community for something that can be so horrible.”

Willett is using her voice and partnering  with fellow songwriter Liz Russo on a new song “Hope’s Alive,” which will be released for purchase on all major streaming services on April 13.

“The song connects with our experience as caregivers, as family members, as people who might not have personally been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but feel that diagnosis just the same. I’m excited to share it with the pancreatic cancer community.”

100 percent of proceeds from track sales will go toward PanCAN’s efforts. Willett will also perform the song during PurpleStride New York City’s opening ceremonies on April 14.

Watch the “Good Day Street Talk” segment (starting at 17:40)

Listen to the WFAN interviews

PurpleStride isn’t the only thing we do, but everything we do depends on it. Register or donate to an event near you today at

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