In 2022, Whitney Goldin’s mom, Karen, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a disease Whitney has become too familiar with but never imagined would touch the life one parent, let alone two. The diagnosis came after the family’s devastating losses of Whitney’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to the same disease. “My dad passed away in 2021 and then it was a shock for my mom to be diagnosed in 2022. I decided I’m just going to turn my sadness into action.” Today, Whitney is ready to end the cycle of pancreatic cancer in her family. She’s already turning that sadness into action by raising awareness and rallying her entire community in the Chicago area with her Purple Ribbon Event, Pushing Back Against Pancreatic Cancer.
Whitney, a loving mother, dedicated daughter, and attorney has generously shared her family’s remarkable story to help raise awareness since her mom’s diagnosis. “Getting to this path has been riddled with pain, seeing both of my parents go through what they’ve gone through,” said Goldin. “This devasting disease is impacting too many of my loved ones. Enough is enough, I’m done.” Whitney wouldn’t sit idly by without taking their own action.By February of 2023, her mom was scheduled to have the Whipple surgery and Whitney was hosting a Purple Ribbon Event to benefit the Hirshberg Foundation. “I have never planned an event before other than my kids birthday parties so I have zero event planning experience but I started doing some research. I called the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and I said, ‘Listen, I’m going to plan an event and it’s going to be in three months and I have no idea if anyone will even come, any money will be raised, but anything I raise I’m going to send to you.’”
Hosted at Temple Sholom of Chicago, Pushing Back Against Pancreatic Cancer featured yoga, brunch provided by a variety of Chicago eateries, tequila mimosas, and a silent auction with items from top Chicago businesses. Whether you live in Chicago or any other city or town across the country, Whitney has demonstrated the importance of sometimes going outside your comfort zone when it comes to helping raise funds for pancreatic cancer research and patient programs, “I went into the event planning process trying to be as open minded as possible with what I thought would attract the most people and raise the most awareness. The event evolved as more and more people registered and as more and more businesses donated. I took a deep breath of gratitude at every turn, and tried to remain as flexible as possible.” By the end of the day on February 2nd, her community had helped raise over $42,000! “The day of the event was more perfect than I could have ever imagined. The two-hour event passed by in the blink of an eye. But at the very end, I reminded myself to take a step back and to witness everything come to fruition. It was so touching to be surrounded by so many people- all with the communal goal of raising awareness.” Whitney shared.
Throughout the planning process, Whitney continued raising awareness in her Chicago community through a televised segment with Fox32 Chicago News, and an interview with Chicago’s Very Own WGN9. She has shown unwavering support throughout her mom’s journey and continues to connect with other families by sharing her family’s story, including a recent podcast interview on Living Hope: Your Journey with Pancreatic Cancer. Today, with the help of a committed medical team her mom is thriving. She continues her journey back to health one day at a time. Whitney is ready to create a new cancer-free path for her mother and family, “One day, there will be a cure, and I want to do everything I can to help us get there,” she shares. She has found a new purpose in her life – to eradicate pancreatic cancer. “We’re going to get closer and closer to a cure and I will do everything I can throughout my life and devote myself to getting closer to that,” she said. “I can tell you that that is my new goal. Forever.”