Each and every day, pancreatic cancer survivors inspire us to be trailblazers, pioneers and change agents for this disease. Today, Cancer Survivors Day, we’re sharing the story of Brian Rubendall, who three years ago was told he had less than a year to live. Now cancer free, Brian reflects on the role PurpleStride played during his journey from patient to survivor.

brian-rubendall“To me, PurpleStride means survival.

In February 2013, I was diagnosed with advanced stage 3 pancreatic cancer that was deemed to be inoperable. I was only 47. I was told that my life expectancy was approximately 11 months.

In June 2013, I participated in my first PurpleStride DC event, in which I ran the 5K distance while undergoing Folfirinox chemotherapy. Two dozen friends and family members joined me, and we raised over $2,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

By March of 2014, chemotherapy shrunk my tumor enough that I was able to undergo a Whipple procedure. The recovery was difficult, I was hospitalized for 35 days.

Nevertheless, by June 2014 I felt strong enough to again participate in PurpleStride DC, this time as a walker. Nearly 30 friends and family members, including two other pancreatic cancer survivors, joined me the second time, and we raised nearly $3,000.

As ‪#‎PurpleStride DC 2016 approaches, my scans show that I am currently cancer free.

For me, PurpleStride was a key component that helped give me the courage I needed to win the battle and to truly become a pancreatic cancer survivor.”

To join a PurpleStride near you, visit purplestride.org.