November 2nd, 2018 | Pegasus News
The Story Behind PurpleStride
In honor of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Dwane Ballard, CTO and one of our Owners, bravely shares his story below on how he is affected by this disease. His story gives insight on why Pegasus supports the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network every year through fundraising and participation in PurpleStride DFW 5K. To join our team for the race on November 10 or to donate, please CLICK HERE.
Why do you participate in PurpleStride?
“In honor of my late wife who touched the lives of so many, Teresa Ballard.”
Can you share a little of your story?
“In May of 2015 Teresa started feeling ill. She went to see our local nurse practitioner who saw some things that didn’t look right (high sugar levels, beginning to look like jaundice). She referred her for a sonogram where they found a tumor that would later be diagnosed as cancer. We were referred to an oncology clinic and made plans to begin chemo.
Not content to sit back, Teresa began reaching out to her network of friends to see if anyone had contacts. We leaned toward UT Southwestern as we knew the travel to Houston would be prohibitive. Through what could only be divine intervention, in less than 24 hours, we ended up with an appointment with one of the top surgical oncologists in the state. After reviewing Teresa’s scans, he indicated she was a good candidate for surgery to remove the tumor. This was a blessing, as only 25% of pancreatic cancer patients are good candidates for surgery.
After surgery, she began chemo. The first round of chemo went fairly well. After a brief break for the holidays, she went in for a checkup, where we found the cancer had come back – this time much more aggressively and in an inoperable location. Two more regimens of chemo, surgery to relieve an intestinal block and we finally got to a point where the chemo and cancer had done the damage. In February of 2017, we stopped all chemo and were on hospice for two weeks.
Throughout the entire process, we were blown away by all of the support that was given to us by family, friends, church, work family, and the community. My daughter, Janie, and I are so grateful.”
How did the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network help you and your family?
“Teresa’s primary oncologist, Dr. Shalaan Beg, was a grant recipient from PanCan. While she was not able to benefit from any trials, PanCan’s support of Dr. Beg gave us great confidence that we were receiving the best care and treatment plans possible.”
What would you like to say to anyone who donates to PanCan for Team Pegasus?
“A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is traumatizing and life-altering. Because of the very low survivability and aggressive nature of the disease, good resources are crucial. PanCan provides a broad spectrum of support, from family and patient counseling, to funding research grants to help discover new drugs, treatments and early detection methods. My family and I would be honored by any donations made on behalf of our loved ones and Team Pegasus.”
The Pegasus team has three team member families that have been affected by Pancreatic Cancer. Any amount donated on behalf of “Team Pegasus” is greatly appreciated to help PanCan’s goal to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020. CLICK HERE to visit our team page.
- $10 represents the fact that every 10 minutes someone new is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
- $20 to help double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.
- $42 gives free one-on-one support to someone facing pancreatic cancer.
- $120 gives training to volunteer advocates.
- $240 puts free educational packets in the hands of 20 newly diagnosed patients.
Please visit www.pancan.org for more information on early detection, scientific research, patient services, government advocacy, and community engagement.