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Survivor Story: Diane Borrison

In July, 2014 I celebrated eight years of stage II pancreatic adenocarcinoma survival. I was diagnosed because my yellow skin and eyes sent me to my doctor to find out what was wrong. Prior to that time I had always considered myself to be very healthy. I've always been physically active. I never smoked nor been overweight. I had recently had a little weight loss, but who wouldn't welcome that? Tests and scans indicated cancer and seemed to show that I was a candidate for the Whipple surgery. How and why had this deadly cancer attacked me? I was shocked.

My Whipple was performed at a high volume pancreatic cancer hospital by a gifted and supremely experienced surgeon and followed by six months of chemotherapy. My family and friends were a source of great comfort and support. And for the next five years I was followed closely with blood tests and scans according to protocol. And now - nothing. I do not think I am "cured" because I know it can return. But for now, I am cancer free.

When I learned more about the shockingly poor prognosis pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients face, I decided to do what I could to change the statistics. And thus my non-stop volunteer work; raising awareness and research funds and appealing to Congress, with my legion of friends affected by the disease and with the help of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

I hope that my story will both give hope and inspire others to join the fight. As my granddaughters so rightly say, "We don't think its right that the message pancreatic cancer patients receive is that they will be lucky to survive their cancer. There should be reliable, effective treatments and not just luck." And this is the message they delivered to our Congressional Representatives and Senators at Advocacy Day in June, 2014.

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