Jeopardy! Champion and Former Naperville Resident, James Holzhauer, Donates to Upcoming Lustgarten Walk
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Alex Trebek’s Diagnosis Leads to a Call-to-Action
Walk in Chicago suburb raises nearly $600,000 for pancreatic cancer research since inception
Woodbury, NY – On Sunday, July 14th, walk leader Ann Zediker will again lead the annual Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk in Naperville, Illinois at the Naperville Pavilion. The walk, now in its ninth year, has raised nearly $600,000 for pancreatic cancer research since inception.
This year, Jeopardy! champion James Holzhauer, who won an impressive 32-straight games, caught her attention. After seeing him on the show, she became aware of his Naperville connection and she reached out and invited him to attend the walk. While Mr. Holzhauer could not attend, he added his support to the Naperville Walk in honor of Alex Trebek and all the other survivors. Mr. Holzhauer’s donation of $1,109.14, which represents his daughter’s birthday, will enable the Foundation to conduct even more urgently needed research.
“Thank you to Mr. Holzhauer for this generous donation and for starting this trend where people are donating amounts corresponding to their birthdays,” said Ann Zediker. “We encourage others to follow in his footsteps and donate to the Naperville Walk at www.lustgartenwalknaperville.org.”
In 2010, Ann’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and she quickly saw a man who loved life deteriorate during treatment. Five months following diagnosis, Ann’s father died. Now, Ann is fighting for continued research and a cure. She became involved with the Foundation knowing 100 percent of every donation goes directly to research.
“We are grateful to Ann for taking this bold step in contacting Mr. Holzhauer and shining a spotlight on pancreatic cancer and the need for increased research,” said Kerri Kaplan, President & CEO, Lustgarten Foundation. “We will only be able to fund more research toward a cure with the help of our dedicated volunteers like Ann.”
Pancreatic cancer has a five-year survival rate in the single digits and has no early detection tests, no effective long- term treatments and, unless the cancer is surgically removed in its earliest stages, no cure. This year, more than 56,000 Americans will be diagnosed, and more than 45,000 people will pass away from the disease.
Since the Lustgarten Foundation’s launch 20 years ago, Lustgarten-funded researchers have been at the forefront of the most promising breakthroughs, achieving significant milestones in understanding and treating this disease and in detecting it earlier. The Foundation is the only non-profit in the country to have four dedicated pancreatic cancer research laboratories, which means more resources, time and talent are being put toward this disease. Mr. Trebek has been a powerful voice in raising awareness of pancreatic cancer.