In 2013 I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Internet searches are terrifying because there is only a 9 percent survival rate for five years. This cancer grows deep within your body, and the symptoms are often misdiagnosed. Typically it has metastasized to other vital organs, rendering it inoperable.
The tumor had grown around an artery, making the Whipple procedure even more challenging, but my surgeon was able to remove it. Today I am four years cancer-free.
God gave me this time, and I am going to make the most of it. With others, I hold a celebrity golf event called Champions for Hope to raise awareness and fund research to find an early detection method for pancreatic cancer.
I feel confident the research team at Mayo will discover a test that will give countless others a longer life. ■
— Judi Zitiello
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida