I was lucky to be a part of the Brian Jessel Cabriolet Gala Wrap-up. This was the 15th year that Brian Jessel has hosted this event to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer – of course, this year being 2020 was not quite the same event of the past, but, they managed to raise 130,000 for the cause.

I was able to meet and speak with the Chief Executive Officer from the Pancreatic Canada Foundation, Michelle Capobianco and learn some important facts about pancreatic cancer from her. One of the things that Michelle spoke to me about was the fact that the mortality rate is 92% for this cancer and the survival rates have flatlined – with every other type of cancer the survival rates are increasing – which is great, but, not for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Michelle explained that one of the biggest challenges with pancreatic cancer is that the symptoms are so hard to detect; the symptoms are mild back pain, mild nausea, mild sleeplessnes ( and more) but she pointed out that for many of us that those symptoms are a typical Monday morning feeling – so for many people by the time they go to the doctor they are at stage four by the time it is finally diagnosed, and by that time the cancer has metastasized to other organs.

I asked Michelle, how can I prevent or detect this type of cancer sooner? She elaborated that there is nothing that can be done and there is no early detection, it ALL comes back to research, which is why raising funds for this type of cancer is so needed – and sadly, it is a cancer that gets very little funding – less than 2% of the money raised for cancer goes to pancreatic cancer, and it has the highest rate of death!

The tip that I got from Michelle was not to panic, but be aware of the symptoms and if you do have more than 2 or 3 of the symptoms then get in and see your family doctor!!


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