My dad, Paul Hughes, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April, 2000. He passed away less than three months later. At 68 my dad lived a healthy life, ate well, swam, played basketball and was very active, even up until his diagnosis. We were in shock when they told us this was Stage IV with metastases in his liver. He ended up transferring his care to UCLA where we found that surgery was not an option – only chemotherapy. He had four rounds of chemotherapy, but the tumors only ended up doubling.
I became a different person. I was mad and angry! I met with Agi Hirshberg and immediately felt a connection. I jumped in with my whole heart and would do ANYTHING they needed help with. Volunteering became my therapy and passion. Early on I was actively involved with the then-annual golf tournament, and every year since I have been in charge of the Chance Drawing Booth at the LA Cancer Challenge. This is one of the best weekends of the year for me. At the end of the day my blood is pumping as I go up onto the stage and announce the prize winners! For me, the day is filled with happiness and sadness, tears and laughter as I watch thousands of people come together to honor and remember those who have been touched by this horrible disease. The physicians, patients, friends and families that participate are all there together working towards the common goal of the cure!
Volunteering is my way of being a part of this battle. The absolute best thing about feeling connected with the Hirshberg Foundation family is the love and support that I receive.I appreciate the support the Hirshberg Foundation gives back to me and thousands of others, like myself, who want to do more. As I said before, volunteering has become my therapy. Spending time with others who have been touched by pancreatic cancer means that I am not alone in this fight! I am committed to doing whatever the Foundation needs in their relentless passion to find a cure for pancreatic cancer!!!