PanCAN PurpleStride San Antonio walk team in November 2020

A team at PanCAN’s Virtual PurpleStride San Antonio in November 2020. PurpleStride fundraising, media coverage locally and nationally, social media and more led to a more successful than ever Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month campaign.

You did it! Your work to raise awareness during November, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, paid off and purple was everywhere. As was awareness about PanCAN’s critical programs and services that change patients’ lives, from research to patient education and support.

From national, local and social media, to Virtual PurpleStride, to Congress and landmark monuments around the world, to the PanCAN website chock-full of your inspiring stories, here are a few of the top highlights (there are too many to list here in their entirety – but know that this November was the most successful yet!):

Actor Mindy Kaling talks about PanCAN in People magazine, November 2020

PanCAN ambassador Mindy Kaling and our new PSA made People magazine.

Mindy Kaling

The actor, author, producer/director and PanCAN ambassador, as well as the public service announcement Mindy created with PanCAN for November, was featured in major media outlets:



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A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling)

PanCAN President and CEO Julie Fleshman on CBSN to discuss pancreatic cancer, Nov. 2020

PanCAN President and CEO Julie Fleshman appeared on CBSN.

Mindy shared the PanCAN PSA on her Instagram (with 5.7 million followers!), which received purple hearts, comments and shares from hundreds of people including actors Natalie Portman and Uzo Aduba, Deborah Messing and Angela Kinsey, who was Mindy’s co-star on NBC’s “The Office.” Angela shared that her father died from pancreatic cancer and posted a story tagging PanCAN. Survivornet reacted with a story about the exchange.

PanCAN President and CEO Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, was interviewed on CBSN about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and she discussed Mindy’s involvement with PanCAN.

Alex Trebek

We mourned “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s passing of pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8, 2020.

PanCAN volunteers were interviewed on multiple local news media outlets, including in San Diego, where the NBC station KNSD-TV interviewed volunteer and survivor Anggie Becorest, who spoke alongside Alex on stage at PurpleStride Los Angeles 2019.

Alex posthumously opened “Jeopardy!” on World Pancreatic Cancer Day, Nov. 19, 2020, with a message recognizing the importance of knowing the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. His message was picked up by media outlets across the country, including ABC News, which included PanCAN’s social media post.

“Jeopardy!” GOAT contestant James Holzhauer posted this tweet asking people to donate to PanCAN—which was shared by the two other GOAT contestants, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

Lisa Niemi Swayze

Lisa Niemi Swayze discusses Patrick Swayze and PanCAN on “The Doctors” TV show Nov. 2020

Lisa Niemi Swayze on “The Doctors” TV show about her involvement with PanCAN after Patrick’s death.

  • CBS’s “The Doctors” featured a segment with Lisa about why she is involved with PanCAN, more than a decade after losing husband Patrick Swayze to the disease.
  • Yahoo! Life featured Lisa and her dedication to the cause


Twelve Virtual PurpleStride events happened in November, making it one of the busiest times of year for volunteers and fundraisers. More than $2.2 million was raised, and counting! These dollars fund PanCAN’s mission to take bold action on behalf of pancreatic cancer patients and their families.

Your Inspiring Stories

PanCAN online Honor Wall with pancreatic cancer stories of hope

PanCAN’s Honor Wall where your stories of hope and inspiration were shared.

We also shared stories from our community that shine a light on research and how you are advancing breakthroughs by raising awareness and donating.

You posted nearly 70 stories on our Honor Wall.

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

You asked members of Congress to wear purple on World Pancreatic Cancer Day and they did – Congressional champions including Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Kay Granger posted on their social media.

Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware raises awareness of pancreatic cancer on Nov. 19, 2020

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) wore purple on World Pancreatic Cancer Day to raise awareness about the disease in Congress.

Also, PanCAN’s New York City Affiliate worked to light the skyline purple, including One World Trade Center and One Bryant Park. The Chicago skyline was also purple, and countless other city buildings and monuments were, too. Thank you, volunteers, for making this happen year after year!

There were moving TV interviews with PanCAN volunteers, including this one, with pancreatic cancer survivor Matt Wilson, who is co-chair of our Volunteer Advisory Council, on FOX’s “Good Morning Philadelphia.

If you missed our webinar on World Pancreatic Cancer Day, Treatment Advances: The Latest in Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Research, you can still view it and see how your donations fuel progress.

And in other news surrounding PanCAN’s work in accelerating progress against the disease, The Atlantic magazine’s “People v. Cancer” summit features an interview at the start of the event with Julie Fleshman at the top of the program.

As a result of this high-profile coverage of PanCAN and the disease last month, PanCAN’s web traffic, social media engagement, donations, and media and advertising impressions saw significant increases.

This elevates pancreatic cancer and the services we provide to patients and families in a huge way.

To you, our PanCAN supporters, thank you for all your hard work – let’s keep the momentum going into 2021!

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