The national color for pancreatic cancer awareness is purple—so it seems fitting that Plum Borough declare November to be Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
Last week, Plum Mayor Rich Hrivnak presented a proclamation in memory and honor of all Plum residents and families affected by this devastation disease to Plum native Don Furko Jr., affiliate coordinator of the Pittsburgh-area Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Despite improved survival rates for many other forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer remains the only major cancer that still has a five-year relative survival rate in the single digits at six percent. The incidence and death rate for pancreatic cancer are increasing, and pancreatic cancer is anticipated to move from the fourth to the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. by 2020, and possibly as early 2015.
Furko thanked Plum officials for their support on behalf of his family—his father, Don Furko Sr., an Oakmont native and Plum resident, died of the disease in 2010—and others in Plum affected by pancreatic cancer.
Here's a look at those affected in Plum:
- Donald Furko died at age 70 on Dec. 16, 2010, only 55 days after diagnosis. He is survived by his wife, five children and 13 grandchildren. His first great-grandchild is due next year.
- Nancy Tomaro died at age 49 on Dec. 10, 2010, and is survived by her husband, Mike, and two daughters.
- Charles Koslovic Sr. died at age 69 on Sept. 20, 2010, and is survived by his wife, Betty, three children and five grandchildren.
- Mary Ann Jordan died at age 69 on Aug. 19, 2011, and is survived by her husband, John, two sons and two grandchildren.
- Kristin Brown Croyle, Plum Senior High School Alumnus Class of 1992, died at age 38 on Aug. 12, 2012, and is survived by her husband Lance and eight children.
- Gertrude Flickinger died at age 36 in 1976 and is survived by her husband and former Plum Councilman Al Flickinger and their four children.
To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network visit www.pancan.org.