For the legions of runners across the globe, few things provide the sense of euphoria as much as a good run. Often referred to as "runner's high," this exhilarating feeling is intensified for the millions of people who compete in marathons each year.
For Hideki Kinoshita, a 30-year-old engineering consultant from New Jersey, the euphoria of completing a marathon is only half the story. That's because Kinoshita is running 14 marathons in 13 weeks, all in an effort to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer. For Kinoshita, the grueling marathon schedule is the ultimate labor of love, as pancreatic cancer recently claimed the life of his girlfriend's mother, six years after the disease also took the life of his uncle.
Since Kinoshita and his girlfriend are both runners, they decided to take part in a 7-person relay race in August, raising $26,000 in the process. As the fall marathon season drew near, Kinoshita saw the perfect opportunity to continue raising money and awareness about pancreatic cancer, and the seeds for his plan to run 14 marathons in 13 weeks were planted. Kinoshita partnered with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, establishing a fundraising target of $10,000. By the -start of November, Kinoshita had already surpassed half that amount.
It's efforts like Kinoshita's that have helped raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease and the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Those efforts were recently furthered by community leaders in New York City, who introduced proclamations recognizing November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, helping to draw attention to the lack of funding for pancreatic cancer research and the urgent need for early detection methods and more effective treatment options for patients.
"The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network thanks the leaders in Manhattan for supporting the goals and ideals of National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and for helping to lead the charge toward increased awareness and funding for this truly horrible disease," stated Julie Fleshman, President and CEO. "With the continued support of these elected officials, we will work towards increasing local awareness and federal funding for pancreatic cancer and give hope to the over 42,000 Americans who will be fighting this terrible disease this year."
That local recognition, however, is only part of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's efforts. In addition, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is pushing for the passing of The Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act, which would represent the first substantive legislative effort dedicated to advancing pancreatic cancer research.
Once enacted and fully funded, the bill, which is sponsored by U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), will provide a greater focus on this disease and will provide the National Cancer Institute with the tools it needs to develop the diagnostic methods and treatments that are currently lacking for pancreatic cancer patients.
To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, visit www.pancan.org. To learn more about Hideki Kinoshita's efforts or to support his quest to raise money for pancreatic cancer research, visit www.firstgiving.com/kino555.