Friday, August 8, 2008

Katie's Flight for the Fight

Back in April I had a couple of posts about the story of Katie Smith, a 32 year old wife and mother-to-be who died of pancreatic cancer in November of 2006, two months after she was diagnosed. Her husband, James, was featured on Miami Ink and has thrown himself into raising awareness about pancreatic cancer. On September 6 he will join with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to raise funds for research. They will have a butterfly release and dinner to celebrate Katie's life. Those of us not able to attend, but still wanting to contribute can sponsor one butterfly for $20 or two for $30. If you would like to help, here is the link:

Katie's Fight for the Flight

I recently received word from Katie's sister, Teresa, that pancreatic cancer is considered to be hereditary, at least a predisposition to it is. The gene responsible has been identified, but she says with genetic testing confirming the gene, insurance companies will treat the cancer as a preexisting condition. Nice. She says her plan is to have abdominal scans every couple of years. I imagine I'll also be looking into that and urging my brother to do the same (which will take little to no convincing). I do wonder if Kevin or I will get it. Or our children. My dad's father, Elom, died when Dad was 11 of a brain aneurism. Elom's father's death certificate states his reason of death as stomach cancer. Kevin and I have wondered if it was truly pancreatic but they had no way of knowing back then. All this wondering and worrying amounts to this: I MUST have faith in the sovereignty of God. He didn't heal Dad the way I wanted him to, but he healed him by taking him home. If anyone else in our family has pancreatic cancer in the future, we will have to meet it with this faith. That's all I know to do. And pray, pray, pray.

This cancer is so vicious and hard to detect. Funds are desperately needed for research, as very few government dollars are allocated for pancreatic cancer research.