By Kristin Snowden
I have been a LACC team captain for Team Queen Linda for the past three years after my mom lost a four-month-battle with pancreatic cancer on March 22, 2009. My mother, Linda Corwin, was a loving, beautiful, talented, and vivacious 55-year-old who seemed to be the picture of health when she went to the doctor to investigate an annoying and painful side-ache. After a few months of misdiagnoses, a random ER ultrasound tech found a tumor on her pancreas and she was soon diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. No real treatment options. Three to six months to live. Determined to see her son graduate college and her grandchildren grow up, Linda opted for destructive chemotherapy treatments for three months but succumbed to the disease. Her family and friends are still devastated by her absence in their lives.
I formed Team Queen Linda after her horrific experience with pancreatic cancer because I realized how desperately the statistics needed to improve for this particular cancer. Pancreatic cancer has the absolute WORST survival rate of all cancers and it is in DESPERATE NEED of more funding and research. It lacks any kind of early detection and is often only found when it is too far advanced to treat. Pancreatic cancer tumors also tend to be difficult to penetrate and are often unaltered by current forms of chemo-therapy. As a consequence, chances of surviving the disease are still at 3-5%–one of the only cancers with survival odds still in the single digits.
Immediately after my mom’s death the only “productive” and therapeutic thing I could think of doing was to continue my mom’s fight by raising funds to improve the pathetic odds of pancreatic cancer. I clung to this once-a-year fundraiser event like a lifeline. Through emailing my friends and family and posting my team website link regularly on my Facebook site, Team Queen Linda has proudly been in the top ten teams for fundraising and team size every year since its inception. I, along with many other family members and teammates, have grown to love those working for the Hirshberg Foundation. We are deeply appreciative of their efforts to end this frightening disease. I whole-heartedly believe in what this Foundation does, how they spend their money, and their ability to make a difference with the private donations they are given.
One of my ultimate goals with the LACC is to eventually have as many teams present that are created for survivors as there are teams created in one’s memory. Right now the numbers are skewed too much on the “in memoriam” side. I want to see hundreds of survivors at that event proudly declaring that they’ve beat this horrible disease. Team Queen Linda is dedicated and passionate about turning the odds around.