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HomeARCHIVEPound the Pavement in Purple for Pancreatic Cancer

Pound the Pavement in Purple for Pancreatic Cancer

The 12th national Put Your Foot Down Sydney walk will be held at Manly Beach on Sunday 14 August.

The 4km family and dog friendly walk is run by Pankind- The Australian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, and sees the local community unite and dress passionately in the cause colour purple, raising much needed awareness and funds for research to help triple the survival rate of pancreatic cancer by 2030.

Pancreatic cancer is now Australia’s third most common cancer killer, with a devastatingly low five-year survival rate of only 11.5 percent.

Michelle Stewart, CEO of Pankind, says events such as these are crucial for raising awareness of this devastating disease.

“Pancreatic cancer survival rates remain unacceptably low, and even with the dire statistics, funding for research remains desperately low.”

The incredibly high mortality rate of pancreatic cancer is due in large part to the absence of early stage symptoms, and lack of early detection. By the time symptoms develop many people are already at stage four of the disease, where median survival rate is around six to eight months.

Margaret Tilden was a prominent member of the Northern Beaches Community, and passed away in January 2017, just nine weeks after her initial diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Margaret was a passionate early childhood educator, and worked at Harbord Kindergarten for ten years.

Margaret Tildern.

“Mum loved her community, and instilled that sense of community spirit into us. She just loved working at Harbord Kindergarten,” daughter Stephanie recalls.

“She was always involved in our local sports, volunteering in the tuckshop, and coaching some of the teams.”

“She was still there, with cancer, watching a bunch of 40-year-old men running around in division 5 old man’s soccer.”

Stephanie recalls her mum didn’t tell them of her diagnosis until one week or so later, suspecting it was due to an upcoming soccer game that her son’s were playing in!

“In typical mum style, she waited until after a grand final game to tell us, not wanting to ruin the event!”

Margaret’s family – Stephanie Donohoe , Tim Tilden, Dominic Tilden, Peter Tilden  and Amy Slaven.

The statistics around pancreatic cancer have barely moved in the last few decades, with treatment options and outcomes scarcely better than they were 30 years ago. Stephanie and her family became involved in Pankind after Margaret’s death to raise awareness and funds so other families do not have to go through what they have been through.

“Like mum, almost all, around 85 to 90 percent, of those diagnosed are in the late stages of the disease.”

“It is really quick. It is an absolutely devastating disease.”

 “Mum didn’t have any symptoms, she just had some stomach issues so went to have that looked at. By the time of the diagnosis she was already at stage four pancreatic cancer.”

Kristjan Porm of Pankind, hopes that the Put Your Foot Down walk encourages people to get out and do something active, whilst also raising awareness for critically needed funds.

“Walks such as this one are a chance for those going through the disease, or for those that have lost a loved one, to unite and have a positive experience, or to celebrate the life of someone they have lost.”

“People at the event connect with others, it’s nice for them to meet and not feel alone.”

Michelle Stewart says the walk in Manly holds special significance, as the foundation was formed in the suburb in 2008.

The event commences at 8.30am at North Steyne (Manly Beach) and attendees are encouraged to dress in the cause colour purple. There will be a variety of food and drinks available, with a BBQ breakfast supplied by Beak & Sons. The walking route is wheelchair and pram accessible, and furry four-legged friends are encouraged, with a prize for the best-dressed dog!

If you would like to register for the event, or help advocate for more funding and to raise awareness, details can be found at: https://sydney.putyourfootdown.org.au/

Friends and family of Margaret Tilden will be walking in her memory, and you can donate to ‘Team Tilden’ here, with all proceeds going to the Put Your Foot Down event:

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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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