Lustgarten Foundation Raises More than $18 million for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Long Island Event
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21st Annual Long Island Walk for Research sponsored by Northwell Health
More than 2,000 Long Islanders touched by pancreatic cancer were finally able to come back together at Jones Beach in Wantagh on Sunday, Oct. 3 for a day of hope, awareness and fundraising for pancreatic cancer research. The Lustgarten Foundation’s annual Walk for Pancreatic Cancer Research marked the Foundation’s first in-person event on Long Island in more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic halted gatherings. Supporters rose to the occasion by raising more than $650,000 and catapulting the 21-year total to over $18 million, with 100% of every dollar raised funding life-saving research.
“We believe community is power,” said Linda Tantawi, Lustgarten CEO. “Pancreatic cancer is a devasting disease, so it is especially important for survivors, patients, family, friends, researchers and healthcare providers to have a place to come together to remember those we have lost, to honor those in the fight and to take positive action against the disease. We also believe research is fundamental to transforming pancreatic cancer into a curable disease. Thanks to the incredible support of this event over the years, the Lustgarten Foundation is the largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research in the world, able to support bold and innovative research.”
Emceed by WNBC weather forecaster Dave Price, who lost his brother to the disease in April, the walk kicked off with an announcement of the inaugural Clinician of Impact Award. Presented to Danielle Pinto, NP, RN, the award was created to recognize a clinician who has demonstrated “unparalleled dedication to, and exemplary expertise in, caring for pancreatic cancer patients.” As a nurse navigator for the Northwell Health Cancer Institute Pancreatic Cancer Center, Danielle is often the first clinician to speak with patients following their diagnosis. Offering a warm and caring respite, Danielle patiently answers questions and helps patients navigate the complex and overwhelming treatment process.
“In collaboration with the Lustgarten Foundation and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, our experts have been pushing the boundaries of science and technology and are on the verge of developing promising new treatments for pancreatic cancer patients of all stages,” said Richard Barakat, MD, physician-in-chief and director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute. “This year, Northwell Health was pleased to once again support the Lustgarten Walk and thrilled to see the Long Island community come out to raise critical funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer research, enabling us to continue our breakthrough advancements that are already changing patient outcomes.”
The first Long Island Walk for Research was held at Old Westbury Gardens on August 2, 2000 and raised approximately $130,000.
For anyone interested in supporting the Long Island Walk, the event registration page, as well as individual and team fundraising pages will remain open throughout 2021.