My dad Bill Ashley ("Bill Ashley Turns a Career Page," April 9) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year. He began his battle with this disease by undergoing major surgery in April.
Bill Ashley, center, with daughter Elizabeth Kutz and wife Martha
After a recovery period he began chemotherapy and radiation treatments. These treatments have taken their toll on him, but he remains in good spirits. He always has a joke or a story to tell, never seeming to run out of "one-liners."
Soon after dad was diagnosed, my husband was searching the Web for information on pancreatic cancer and came across the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a non-profit organization working to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.
The organization funds research grants, provides information and resources to patients and their families at no cost, pushes for increased federal research funding and educates the public about this disease.
The ING Miami Marathon is one of the events in which the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network participates. I have decided to run the marathon (26.2 miles) on Jan. 25, 2009 as a way to honor my dad and to help raise awareness of this devastating disease.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, yet it receives less funding per patient than other leading cancer killers. Your support helps the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network fulfill its mission and provides hope to the more than 37,000 Americans who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year.
Please visit my personal Web page to learn more. Thank you for your support.