How to help fight pancreatic cancer


Steve Jobs may be gone, but the disease that killed him is unfortunately still with us. Pancreatic cancer is an especially deadly form of the cancer, with only one in five of those diagnosed surviving through their first full year following its detection. Jobs’ ability to persist and continue to work in the face of such odds is yet another way he was one in a billion. We can help others have the same fighting chance Jobs had by supporting research to help curb and cure pancreatic cancer, with earlier detection measures and better treatments.

Donate directly

One way to contribute is by donating directly to organizations dedicated to fighting pancreatic cancer. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a good example. It’s a not-for-profit that funds research, government advocacy, patient services and community outreach through funds it collects. President and CEO Julie Fleshman shared her condolences for the loss of Jobs, as well as a call to action in an open letter.

Johns Hopkins Medicine also has a dedicated pancreatic cancer research center, to which you can donate directly. Eighty percent of any donation made to Johns Hopkins goes directly to support the science and education efforts combating pancreatic cancer. The remaining 20 percent goes to Hopkins for infrastructure support to keep the organization running.

Donate indirectly through developers

Some developers have introduced plans to forward proceeds from the sale of their software to help fund the fight against pancreatic cancer. Realmac Software is one such company. For Thursday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Oct. 7, all proceeds resulting from the sale of RapidWeaver, Analog, Courier or LittleSnapper will go to Pancreatic Cancer U.K. All are great-looking apps that also work very well, including Analog, the latest addition, which allows you to quickly and easily add Instagram-style effects to your photos in Mac OS X. All are available in the Mac App Store.

Marco Arment, developer of Instapaper, is also donating all revenue from the sale of his app Oct. 6 ($4.99, iOS Universal) to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The app lets you save text-heavy articles from the web in a streamlined format for offline reading on your iPhone or iPad.

Volunteer your time

November is actually National Pancreatic Awareness Month in the U.S., and you can participate by volunteering to help. Signing up in the U.S. is easy through the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s dedicated site about the awareness event in November. The network will hook you up with your local affiliate, who’ll then provide more specific information about how you can help.

There’s also a bill before Congress to help devise a national strategy for fighting pancreatic cancer, which you can help along by contacting your local elected officials.

This isn’t a comprehensive look at your options for helping by any means, but it is a good starting point. Of course, it’s always a good idea to donate to or volunteer with the American Cancer Society (or your local national equivalent), too. Let us know if you have any other ways to help.


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