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Honoring Ride

Published August 4, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I was deeply saddened by the passing of Sally Ride, who lost her 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer ("Sally Ride, first U.S. woman in space, dead at 61," Tribune, July 24).

Ride had an inspiring, accomplished career, and she is an icon in our nation's history.

Tragically, for those touched by pancreatic cancer, 17 months is an exception; 74 percent of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which the relative five-year survival rate, just 6 percent, has not improved substantially in more than 40 years.

As a pancreatic cancer patient, I am all too familiar with the unsettling statistics and frightening outlook. Each time I look at my daughter, I hope and pray I will see her fifth birthday.

We need Congress to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act (S.362/H.R.733), which would establish a long-term comprehensive strategic research plan to develop effective treatment options to give patients a fighting chance. The bill has strong bipartisan support, with about 60 Senate co-sponsors and 270 House co-sponsors.

I hope all inspired by Sally Ride will honor her memory by joining the fight against pancreatic cancer.

Shantell Seare

Salt Lake City