The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research raised more than $500,000 to fund scientific research at the 24th annual L.A Cancer Challenge 5K Walk/Run on Oct. 31 at UCLA.
Nearly 1,500 participants, including special guests Serena and Venus Williams, joined the event and raised awareness about pancreatic cancer. Serena and Venus Williams walked to honor close friend and survivor Esther Lee, who was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in July 2020. The L.A. Cancer Challenge, one of Southern California’s longest-running charity events, coincides with Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in November.
“The L.A. Cancer Challenge has been one of the Hirshberg Foundation’s most successful fundraisers for nearly 25 years, and we are very excited to have surpassed our fundraising goal to advance pancreatic cancer research and fund seed grants to innovative medical investigators,” said Lisa Manheim, executive director of the Hirshberg Foundation. “Returning to a live event and seeing our friends and supporters for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began was truly a wonderful experience. Having sports royalty such as Venus and Serena Williams helping shine a light on a disease with underfunded research and the highest mortality rate was very generous, and we are honored to have had their support.”
More than 60,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. and more than 48,000 people die from the disease every year. Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers, largely because there are no early detection tools to diagnose the disease in its primary stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible.
For information, visit pancreatic.org.
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