Rep. Batinick Joins Constituent’s Fight for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

(A Note from State Rep. Mark Batinick)

Recently it has been my privilege to work with Nora Campos, a constituent who has been driven to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer after watching it take her husband’s honorable life. Together we drafted House Resolution 838, which recognized November 13 as World Pancreatic Cancer Day in the State of Illinois. It was quickly adopted in the Illinois House this week. Please consider wearing purple on November 13 in support of pancreatic cancer awareness. 39 municipalities have agreed to display purple at their own local landmarks.

Nora if you’re reading this, congratulations on all your efforts in your husband’s memory, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your work. Here’s to a purple sky on Friday.

Nora Campos and Rep. Batinick with House Resolution 838

(Nora Campos’ Story)

I asked Representative Batinick to sponsor a House Resolution stating that Friday November 13th is recognized as World Pancreatic Cancer Day in the State of Illinois. Pancreatic cancer came into my home 6 years ago. My husband was 44, he was an athlete, he was a U.S. Marine and yet, he never stood a chance. Somewhere in the time he was ill, I made a vow to fix this. I have to. As a mother and as a grandmother, I have to. So I have joined the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as a volunteer and am dedicated to advancing research, supporting patients and creating hope. With Rep. Batinick’s help, I have asked the State of Illinois to stand up and be counted in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Our statistics are horrific. 7% of those that contract Pancreatic cancer will survive the next five years. It is currently the 4th leading cause of cancer death,  and more than 1600 will die in Illinois this year alone.  But, hope is possible; it is within our reach. Pancreatic cancer currently has no early diagnostic tools, few effective treatments, and there is no cure – advancements in these areas will not fall from the sky. But through awareness, support for those affected by the disease, funding and research, we can improve survival rates and patient outcomes! To improve these statistics local volunteers from across the state of Illinois have joined the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and are calling on the community to join them in their efforts to double the survival rate by 2020. We have long advocated for increased federal support in an effort to improve patient outcomes. Due to our efforts, the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act was signed into law by President Obama in January 2013. As a result, the NCI took a critical step in fulfilling the provisions of the law by issuing a report with specific recommendations for moving forward on four research initiatives to develop early-detection methods and new treatment approaches. That is Hope. Recently, the FDA approved a novel therapeutic drug for patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma – the most common form of pancreatic cancer. This was exciting and encouraging news for the pancreatic cancer community because it provides a new treatment option for some patients facing this difficult disease. That is Hope.

This Friday, 39 Illinois Municipalities, including the Cities of Chicago, Joliet, Plainfield, Elmhurst, Naperville; counties of Will, Cook, DuPage, and Winnebago and so many more have officially announced Proclamation of Friday, November 13, 2015, as being World Pancreatic Cancer Day. This is Hope. Never before has there been a more urgent need to join the movement to rewrite the future for pancreatic cancer and double survival by 2020. By uniting in solidarity we can tell this nation that the State of Illinois will Wage Hope against Pancreatic Cancer.