Lustgarten Foundation Flagship Walk Inspires Community and Raises Critical Dollars for Pancreatic Cancer Research
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22nd Annual Long Island Walk presented by Northwell Health Cancer Institute draws over 1,100 supporters amid wet weather & raises 700,000 dollars and counting in support of pancreatic cancer research.
WOODBURY, N.Y., Oct 03, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Long Island residents touched by pancreatic cancer gathered for a day of remembrance, action, and hope at Sunday’s walk for pancreatic cancer research at Jones Beach State Park. The annual walk has raised more than $19 million since 2001, and 100% of all donations fund life-saving research.
“We believe community is power,” said Linda Tantawi, Lustgarten CEO. “Pancreatic cancer is a devasting disease; we are committed to supporting and elevating survivors, patients, family, friends, researchers, and healthcare providers. We remember those we have lost, honor those in the fight and walk together to further our mission of transforming pancreatic cancer into a curable disease.”
Co-emceed by award-winning mother-daughter team Jennifer McLogan, CBS New York reporter and Elle McLogan, digital reporter and host of “The Dig” for CBS2, this year’s walk featured a brand new “Ask the Expert” experience. Participants spoke with Northwell Health Cancer Institute clinical staff, including Matthew Weiss, MD, deputy physician-in-chief and director of surgical oncology, who offered helpful information for patients and their loved ones to navigate the often complex and overwhelming treatment and care process. Madison Square Garden special guests Jon Starks, former NY Knicks shooting guard, and Tom Laidlaw, former NY Rangers defenseman, also came out to show support and interact with participants as they prepared to walk.
“We are thrilled so many people turned out for this incredible event, supporting family and friends affected by pancreatic cancer, along with our doctors, nurses, and health care professionals, showing solidarity by walking together with our fellow New Yorkers, fighting to develop a cure for pancreatic cancer,” said Richard Barakat, MD, physician-in-chief, and director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute. “Northwell’s collaboration with the Lustgarten Foundation and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is critical because pancreatic cancer cases are increasing, and we expect it to become the second leading cause of cancer death in this country. Our combined efforts in raising funds for pancreatic cancer research provide the catalyst for driving cutting-edge, novel therapies for clinical trials in pancreatic cancer patients to innovations that will change the way this dreaded disease is treated.”
Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. This year, nearly 4,000 New Yorkers will be diagnosed with this disease—most blindsided by a late-stage diagnosis with few treatment options. There is hope. The 5-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients has more than doubled since the Lustgarten Foundation began in 1998. The Foundation is accelerating research progress that is giving patients the best chance for survival.
Hope and optimism kept pancreatic cancer survivor Luis Vargas going when he was diagnosed in June 2021, at just 62. After undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery at Northwell, Luis is now back to doing what he loves most—mountain climbing and enjoying time with his family.
“The Foundation started a revolution to cure pancreatic cancer, and we’re honored to collaborate with Northwell Health on this mission,” Tantawi added. “All donations fund the brightest, most creative minds in cancer research. We’ve built a powerful community of scientists who are working individually and collectively to unravel the mysteries of one of the most difficult and deadly cancers. Lustgarten-funded science has been a driving force in every major advancement in pancreatic cancer research, including work toward earlier detection, drug development, and personalized medicine.”
For those interested in supporting the Long Island Walk, the event registration page, as well as individual and team fundraising pages, will remain open throughout 2022.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 78,000 employees—18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners—are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.