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Hundreds bundled up to take part in The Purple Stride Lake Area 5K Walk/Fun Run in 2009. This year's event, the eighth annual walk, is set for Saturday at Prien Lake Park. (American Press Archives)<br>

Hundreds bundled up to take part in The Purple Stride Lake Area 5K Walk/Fun Run in 2009. This year's event, the eighth annual walk, is set for Saturday at Prien Lake Park. (American Press Archives)

Walk to raise pancreatic cancer awareness Saturday

Last Modified: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 1:32 AM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

After Kristi Remy’s husband died of pancreatic cancer, she made it her mission to educate people and generate funds for research.

Remy’s husband, Wayne, died in 2003 at age 48, four months after being diagnosed, and in 2004 she began her fight.

“With this cancer there is no hope,” she said. “When people look at statistics and survival rates they know their fate before they even have a chance to fight, and that has to change. We have to stand up and get the word out. We need to fight harder.”

According to the Pancreatic Action Network’s website, 6 percent of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live five years after being diagnosed.

Saturday’s walk at Prien Lake Park will mark the eighth annual walk for pancreatic cancer in the Lake Area.

Remy said that in addition to the walk there will be a silent auction with 40 items, including weekend getaways, hunting and fishing trips, gift baskets, and tickets to a New Orleans Saints football game.

There will also be a “gift tree raffle” with $1,400 worth of gift cards for which participants can buy raffle tickets. Remy said there will also be food booths and children’s activities.

“We are doing all of these fundraising opportunities with the walk so that we can continue to raise funds even as the event is going on,” she said.

Money raised will benefit the Pancreatic Action Network and go to fund research and provide patients with information about the disease.

Participants in the events will also have the opportunity to recognize family and friends by purchasing a “memory bag” to be placed along Contraband Bayou.

Remy said the 1,000 or so people are expected to attend the walk, and the goal is to raise $70,000.

The silent auction is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m., with opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. and the two-mile walk at 8:30 a.m.

“What is so nice about the opening ceremony is that it gives me the opportunity to tell the community face to face where the money raised is going and what we are doing,” Remy said.

“We have to get people out to talk about this because it’s proven that if people start talking and raising awareness it can impact statistics. The more people that are out fighting this disease, the more funds we can generate and the more research can be done. Pancreatic cancer is trailing behind because not enough people are speaking out.”

Remy said survivors in the area are encouraged to attend the event.

“I’m hoping that one day we will have these events and we can have all these survivors there to share their stories,” she said. “But we just haven’t made it there yet.”

Early registration costs $25 and ends at 5 p.m. today, online at www.purplestride.org/lakearea.

Registration the day of the event is at 7 a.m. and costs $30.

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