#MyRollandStroll Builds Community, Raises Funds for Pancreas Cancer Research All Summer Long
Whether you prefer travelling on two feet or two wheels, there’s a great way to get outside and get active this summer, all while raising money for a great cause.
#MyRollandStroll begins June 15 and runs until August 9. It’s the “virtual” equivalent of the annual Roll & Stroll event, which raises money to support pancreas cancer research at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Concerns over COVID-19 prompted the change to the event, which usually takes place in August.
“Going virtual was a difficult decision for us to come to, but in the concern for our patients and our community members, it made the most sense, and actually offers a lot of benefits, as well,” said UW Carbone event liaison Danielle Falcone.
Instead of gathering many people together for a one-day event, a virtual event encourages you to get out on your own, or with friends and family, for some physical activity at a time that works for you this summer. You don’t even have to be in Wisconsin to participate.
When registering, you’ll be asked to choose your method of transportation. Bikes, wheelchairs, skateboards, scooters – it’s up to you! From there, the distance is up to you. The whole idea is to make the event as accessible as possible. So take a leisurely bike ride around the block, or complete a two mile stroll in a favorite park. Want to set a new distance and endurance record on your scooter? Go for it! Just stay six feet apart from others in the process.
You’re also encouraged to take photos of your walk or ride and post them on social media with the #MyRollandStroll hashtag. Your registration also includes a bib and an official bandana that you can sport during your outing. “We want to continue this sense of community, even though we can’t all be together,” Falcone said. “We want people to feel connected to the many others who are out there participating and supporting this cause.”
While many big summer events have been cancelled outright, the decision to proceed with the virtual #MyRollandStroll was made because the need for improvement in outcomes for pancreas cancer patients is great.
Pancreas cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. It’s a disease that’s difficult to detect in early stages, and often discovered after it has spread. An estimated 60,000 individuals will be diagnosed with the disease in 2020, an increase from previous years.
“The incidence of pancreas cancer continues to go up, and despite modest breakthroughs in chemotherapy options and continued trials, the mortality rate also continues to be unacceptably high,” said Daniel Abbott, MD, FACS, an Associate Professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology and UW Carbone Cancer Center member. “We need to have much more concerted, focused efforts to support research to really make truly breakthrough treatments for these patients.”
Development of new treatments is essential for all cancers, but especially pancreas cancer, since traditional treatments like chemotherapy have not been as effective compared to other disease sites. “It’s not for lack of trying,” Abbott said. “The tumor itself makes it really challenging.”
Philanthropic funds are key to spurring that development, which can fund upfront costs not covered by grants. That’s where you come in. On top of a registration fee, which has been lowered for the virtual event, rollers and strollers have the option to engage in additional fundraising. You can also make an online gift to support pancreas cancer research at UW Carbone. Organizers, including the all-volunteer Pancreas Cancer Task Force, are looking to raise $30,000 before August 9.
“Here at UW, we have researchers who are doing really novel, exciting basic science work addressing pancreas cancer, and very often, the great limiting step is just having the funding to do their experiments,” Abbott said. “That support is needed.”
So if you’re ready to get your roll or stroll on, and make a difference, head on over to the event’s webpage and get signed up. We look forwarding to “seeing” you out on your course of choice.
Date Published: 06/09/2020