By Naushaba Khan
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death among all cancer diseases. This past Saturday, the Santa Clara community joined hundreds of people who are fighting for a cure .
Santa Clara hosted the fifth annual 5K Pancreatic Cancer Walk to raise money to fund pancreatic research at University of California, San Francisco. The walk has successfully raised more than $90,000 over the past four years.
“We had a great turnout for the walk. We had over 300 participants,” said volleyball coach Jon Wallace, who took part in the event. “One of the highlights of the walk was having the Santa Clara Band there playing on the course. It gave the group, and the walk as a whole, tremendous energy.”
Wallace further recognized the support from the volleyball team, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s golf and women’s soccer. More than 90 students and student-athletes participated in the walk, many who or have known someone affected by pancreatic cancer.
Margaret Tempero, M.D., the director of UCSF Pancreas Center, welcomed the crowd prior to the start of the race. Tempero was very involved this year and has been a huge supporter for the annual walk.
Wallace noted how encouraging it was to hear Tempero’s speech about the advancements she and her team have been able to make in the last three years.
The walk is important for raising money, bringing awareness and gathering people together to celebrate those they may have lost to this disease.
“I ran today in memory of my loving grandma, who passed away from pancreatic cancer last year,” said freshman Alex Golding. “I think it’s unfortunate how so many of us know someone who’s been affected by cancer. However, I feel that the love and support of the Santa Clara community alone at events like these provides great hope for a cancer-free future. I’ll definitely be back next year.”
Wallace also recognized Arlene Mariani, a Santa Clara graduate, whom he believes is the power behind the walk.
“She has done an amazing job of not only organizing the walk and making sure the funds go directly to finding a cure.” Wallace said. “She has such passion for this cause and works tirelessly in making this walk a success each year.”
Over $16,000 has been raised this year, totaling to over $106,000 that has been raised during the last five years through the walk. Next year’s walk is scheduled for May 10, 2014.
Contact Naushaba Khan at email@example.com.