Carolyn Gordon, 64, died of pancreatic cancer in 2021, only a few months after being diagnosed. Her daughter, Meagan Clarke, of Red Deer, is race director for a 5-km fundraising run presented by the Craig’s Cause non-profit. The event will be held at Bower Ponds next spring to raise money for education, research and support. (Contributed photo.)

Carolyn Gordon, 64, died of pancreatic cancer in 2021, only a few months after being diagnosed. Her daughter, Meagan Clarke, of Red Deer, is race director for a 5-km fundraising run presented by the Craig’s Cause non-profit. The event will be held at Bower Ponds next spring to raise money for education, research and support. (Contributed photo.)

Red Deer fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research, support, derailed by Hurricane Fiona

The local run by a non-profit based in hurricane-hit Nova Scotia, is postponed to next spring

Hurricane Fiona has caused the postponement of Red Deer’s first night run fundraiser for fighting pancreatic cancer.

The five kilometre “Kicking PancreAS” run was scheduled for Bower Ponds on Saturday, Oct. 1. But because the head office of the organizing non-profit, Craig’s Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society, is located in hurricane-hit Nova Scotia, there were logistical difficulties getting the prizes and other needed supplies to Alberta for this weekend.

The fundraising run/walk will be pushed ahead to next spring, said Stefanie Condon-Oldreive, director of Craig’s Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society. But she hopes Central Albertans will still register and start collecting pledges this fall. (Register on the website www.craigscause.ca or the runningroom.com.)

The Craig’s Cause non-profit donates 100 per cent of money raised to education, support and research.

Red Deer race director Meagan Clarke knows first-hand the devastating impact of pancreatic cancer on families. Her mother, Carolyn Gordon, died from the disease on July 11, 2021, only a few months after being diagnosed.

Clarke feels her mom, a 64-year-old bookkeeper who lived on Vancouver Island, “had so much more to give, with a zest for life, and always going out of her way to help others in any way possible. She was taken too soon.”

Pancreatic cancer has the poorest survival rate of all major cancers in Canada, with a mere 10 per cent of those diagnosed living 5 years.

This is partly because many people are not aware of the symptoms — which can include unintended weight loss/ loss of appetite. jaundice, dark urine, light-coloured stools, itchy skin, blood clots and abdominal pain that radiates towards your back. Sometimes these symptoms only occur when the cancer is at an advanced stage.

Condon-Oldreive, who lost her father to the disease in 2006, noted pancreatic cancer is on track to become the second leading cause of all cancer deaths by 2030. It surpassed breast cancer deaths in 2019 and has a fatality rate that has largely stagnated since 1998.

“We need to change the outcome for Canadians by increasing awareness and research funds. We need each community help us do that!” she added.

Clarke was motivated to help organize the Red Deer fundraiser by her late mom’s passion and drive for helping others. “We cannot bring our loved ones back, but we can create strong legacies, which they will live through.”

Anyone who would like to help Clarke co-organize the Red Deer spring fun-run — which will feature costumes, glo-sticks and “lots of swag” — can email info@craigscause.ca.

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