Thursday, 6 October 2011

RIP Steve Jobs - it's time for our turn to take up the fight.

Dear Internet,

It’s not easy to understand when someone dies. Someone young, who transformed the world that we know today, a true visionary.

You lost a friend yesterday.

When I think about Steve Job’s death I cannot help but think that this man died of Pancreatic Cancer, a man worth over 5.5 billion still could not beat this terrible disease.

Alwyn, my lovely, kind, funny and unique brother in law died just over a year ago, he too of Pancreatic Cancer and when you do a bit of research – or as you do in this day and age Googling – you find a shocking number of tremendous people who have also died of this disease… Patrick Swayze, Dizzy Gillespie, Luciano Pavarotti, Michael Landon, and the list goes on and on.

The real shame is that very little has changed in the scope of diagnosis and treatment, even someone like Steve Jobs and his immense wealth and links to technology couldn’t beat the disease.

Again it makes me wonder - when will something be done to start fighting against this disease rather than letting it win?

It’s a terrible, aggressive, unknown, late diagnosed disease and often kills within a short time, you’re lucky to get the kind of time that Steve did, Alwyn didn’t.

I knew very little about the disease until mostly after Alwyn’s death and by reading information, and connecting with the Canadian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation (

Perhaps now is the time for people to stand up and start fighting, putting more money, time and effort into researching, learning about and seeing what can be done to bring awareness to the disease, push for early diagnosis and perhaps improve the lives of people diagnosed. I have done what I can to donate, support and encourage this cause, with statistic like this who can afford not to?

According to the American Cancer Society’s website (

The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for pancreatic cancer in the United States are for 2011:

• About 44,030 people (22,050 men and 21,980 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

• About 37,660 people (19,360 men and 18,300 women) will die of pancreatic cancer

Over the past 15 to 25 years, rates of pancreatic cancer have dropped slightly in men and women. Still, pancreatic cancer remains the fourth leading cause of cancer death overall.

The lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 71 (1.41%). This is about the same for both men and women.

Let this be the time to stand up and fight back!

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