WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky proclaimed Nov. 17, 2016, Worldwide Pancreatic Cancer Day, as Pancreatic Cancer Day in Westfield at Tuesday night’s town council meeting. Jeanne Gladis, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network volunteer, accepted the proclamation and gave a quick speech about raising awareness for the disease.

“I’ve been part of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network since 2008, when my dad passed away from it,” Gladis said. “We’re hoping to raise awareness and funds to save lives and find a cure.”

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will hold its New Jersey Purple Stride, a 5k run and family walk, in Parsippany on Nov. 13.

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Pancreatic cancer surpassed breast cancer to become the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in 2016, according to Mayor Skibitsky’s proclamation. More than 53,070 people will be diagnosed with the disease this year, he said.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network hopes to double the survival rate for pancreatic cancer by the year 2020. Currently, 71 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first year of diagnosis and 92 percent die within the first five years, Skibitsky said.

“It is the only major cancer with a five-year relative survival rate in the single digits,” he told the audience.

For more information about this disease and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, visit www.pancan.org.

More information and registration for the NJ Purple Stride can be found by clicking here.