Maple Grove man’s family rides to raise money and awareness
The Twin Cities Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network announces PurpleRide Twin Cities 2012. The biking fundraiser through Elm Creek Regional Park taking place Saturday, Sept. 15.
This year, a Maple Grove man’s family and friends will ride for him with “Team Stencel.” John Stencel was 64 when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last November. Stencel had been experiencing some symptoms that are often treated as digestive issues — weight loss, abnormal food consumption — and after being persistent with doctors, found out that it was much more.
Stencel, a father of four, is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments, and the tumor has not grown, nor has the cancer spread.
“Our dad and his strength toward fighting and for his family is what motivates us to do anything we can,” said his daughter Katie Lyles, who lives in nearby Champlin.
Lyles will be biking with Team Stencel, along with her husband Chris, two brothers Corey and Codey, sister-in-law Stacey and other family, friends and former co-workers of John. John’s wife, Nancy, and daughter Julie will be volunteering at the event. Cheering on the Team will be son-in-law, Paul, and five grandchildren: Erik, Isaac, Leila, Max and Gemma.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and offers an 8-mile ride beginning at 10 a.m., a 25-mile ride beginning at 8:30 a.m. and an 8-mile optional scenic challenge loop for riders of either route.
“PurpleRide Twin Cities, planned entirely by local volunteers, is a day filled with hope and inspiration for participants while supporting important work being done by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network,” stated Brenda Coleman Affiliate Coordinator. “Pancreatic cancer survivors, loved ones, friends, and supporters are invited to attend the event. The ride will be followed by family activities, raffles and a closing ceremony. To register, visit www.purpleride.org.”
PurpleRide events contribute to the mission of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to advance research, support patients and create hope. Money raised helps fund personalized support for patients, their families and their caregivers. The events also support research grants and advocacy efforts to increase federal pancreatic cancer research funding.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States and has the lowest relative survival rate among leading cancer killers. This devastating disease has claimed the lives of many public figures, including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, actor Patrick Swayze, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Ralph Steinman, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Dr. Randy Pausch, actor Michael Landon, opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti, and most recently astronaut Sally Ride.
This year, nearly 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 37,000 will die. The five-year relative survival rate is just six percent and has remained largely unchanged in the last forty years because early detection tools and effective treatments have yet to be developed. Despite these sobering statistics, approximately two percent of the National Cancer Institute’s federal research funding is allocated to pancreatic cancer.