INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Incline Village resident Ginnie Jed recently won the Community Representative of the Year Award for her volunteer efforts for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure.Pancreatic Cancer Action Network President and CEO Julie Fleshman and Chairman of the Board Peter Kovler presented the award on Saturday, March 24, at the organization's Community Outreach Leadership Training in Chicago.Jed consistently connects with her members of Congress about the urgent need for federal pancreatic cancer research funding asking them to co-sponsor the Pancreatic Cancer Research andamp; Education Act (S. 362/ H.R. 733) to spur true progress in fighting the disease.Her letters to the editor and articles have been featured in numerous papers. For National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which is in November, Jed also created a compelling exhibit called “Local Faces of Pancreatic Cancer” that was installed in several locations in the Tahoe Basin, Reno and in the State Capitol in Carson City.“Pancreatic cancer slammed into our lives and redirected our path painfully and abruptly, as it does in all cases. And yet my husband Stu is one of the few fortunate ones for whom pancreatic cancer has been a diagnosis, not a death sentence,” said Jed, whose husband, Stu, was diagnosed in December 2008. “I value the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's multi-faceted organized approach to working with patents and caregivers, advocacy, and fundraising for research, that offers me a way to purposefully give voice to the many victims and patients who can no longer advocate for themselves.”Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States and has the lowest relative survival rate among leading cancer killers. This devastating disease has claimed the lives of many public figures, including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, actor Patrick Swayze, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Ralph Steinman, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Dr. Randy Pausch, actor Michael Landon, and opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti.This year, nearly 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 37,000 will die from the disease. The five-year relative survival rate is just six percent and has remained largely unchanged in the last forty years because early detection tools and effective treatments have yet to be developed.Despite these sobering statistics, approximately 2 percent of the National Cancer Institute's federal research funding is allocated to pancreatic cancer.
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