Casa Nuova Italian Restaurant held its annual Community Block Party to benefit Purple Pansies and pancreatic cancer research.
Maria Fundora founded the nonprofit Purple Pansies in 2008 following her mother’s death from pancreatic cancer, as she felt called to raise awareness and crucial research dollars for this chronically underfunded but deadly cancer.
The mission of Purple Pansies is to raise funds for research, clinical trials, early detection through TGen, or Translational Genomics Research Institute, and to aide families in our community who have a family member suffering from pancreatic cancer and financially can use our help and provide college scholarships.
“With the support of our community, Purple Pansies will be able to continue to positively change lives affected by pancreatic cancer,” Fundora said. “The funds raised today will help fund the fight against pancreatic cancer.”
The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is getting worse, according to a news release. Sometime over the next year, pancreatic cancer is expected to be the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., surpassing both breast and colorectal cancers.
Early detection is critical to reverse this trend. About 91% of patients find cancer has spread by the time the disease is diagnosed. More research, requiring more funding, is desperately needed in this fight.
To date, Purple Pansies has raised over $4 million to support research and clinical trials through the Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute, an affiliate of City of Hope.
Recently, Purple Pansies officially announced the launch of its scholarship program for high school seniors who have a parent, guardian or are themselves suffering from pancreatic cancer.
On Sept. 18 they will host their 13th Annual Gala to raise funds to continue support families that have been affected by pancreatic cancer.
For more information, visit purplepansies.org.