Maple Grove resident coordinates bike ride

Event to raise money and awareness for pancreatic cancer

The Twin Cities Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network announces PurpleRide Twin Cities 2013. The 25-mile or 8-mile family friendly bike ride through Elm Creek Regional Park will take place Sunday, Sept. 15.

Maple Grove resident Lisa Beckendorf is heading the PurpleRide bike ride event Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Elm Creek Regional Park. The event contributes to the mission of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Maple Grove resident Lisa Beckendorf is heading the PurpleRide bike ride event Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Elm Creek Regional Park. The event contributes to the mission of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Heading the event is Maple Grove resident Lisa Beckendorf, who nearly 15 years ago was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer at the age of 33. At that time, Beckendorf had limited understanding of what a pancreas was — or how low her chances were of surviving.

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 of only six percent. This year, more than 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 38,000 will die.

For Beckendorf, 14 years went by before she even met another survivor at a cancer symposium at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. There, she learned about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and knew it was time to step in and get involved in raising awareness about the disease. Beckendorf is now the Event Coordinator for the Twin Cities Affiliate, organizing the upcoming PurpleRide bike ride, as well as overseeing the PurpleStride walk/run held in Rochester on Sept. 21 and PurpleLight National Vigil for Hope on the steps of the State Capital on Oct. 27.

“I am now coming up on the 15th anniversary of my survival, and with the help of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, I look forward to many more years, and many more lives saved,” Beckendorf said.

Registration for PurpleRide 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, Twin Cities 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 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.

To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Twin Cities affiliate, visit pancan.org.

 

 

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