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Westlake Village joins the Lustgarten Foundation in the pancreatic cancer fight

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By Catherine Jayne

On February 8, local residents will join together at the Westlake Village Pancreatic Cancer Run/Walk in support of The Lustgarten Foundation, America’s largest private foundation dedicated to funding pancreatic cancer research.Every dollar raised will go directly to pancreatic cancer research because Cablevision Systems Corporation underwrites the Lustgarten Foundation’s administrative costs.

The Westlake Village Pancreatic Cancer Run/Walk, originally known as PAM’s Run, was started six years ago by Kristen and Jessica Bardwil in honor of their mother, Pamela, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 54. Since its inception, the event has grown to approximately 1,200 participants and raised more than $500,000 for promising pancreatic cancer research.

Pancreatic cancer is swift and silent, often undetected until it’s too late. More than 38,000 people will die from it this year. The overall five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is six percent and most with advanced cancer die within a year. There are no early detection tests, no effective long-term treatments and, unless the cancer is surgically removed in its earliest stages, no cure. Research remains the best hope for a cure for this most lethal disease.

Researchers are now conducting clinical trials of a blood test for early detection, and a promising new drug combination that can increase survival has recently received FDA approval.

“To be this close to early detection is incredibly exciting,” said Jessica Bardwil. “We started the race because we felt so helpless after losing our mom—we wanted to do something positive.”

Added Kristen Bardwil, “Hope is really what this event is all about. Each year we meet cancer survivors, people currently in the fight, and those like us who have lost loved ones. There’s nothing like the energy on the event day—so many people gathered who share in the common goals of finding a cure and, above all, celebrating life.”

“Last year more than $3.5 million was raised from Pancreatic Cancer Research Walks across the country,” said Ann Walsh, Lustgarten Foundation Director of Events. “We are deeply grateful for the time and energy that individuals like Kristen and Jessica dedicate to these important events.

On February 8, the 10K Westlake Village Pancreatic Cancer Run/Walk will take place at 8:00 a.m. and the 5K Run/Walk will be held at 9:30 a.m. Both begin in the courtyard of the Westlake Village City Hall, 31200 Oak Crest Drive in Westlake Village. Onsite registration will begin at 7:00 a.m.

This year’s event will feature live music from the Steve Bardwil Band, food and fun for the whole family, including:

• VIP breakfast catered by founding sponsor Boccaccio's for those individuals who raise a minimum of $1,500.

• Expo vendors, such as Jack FM, Future Track, Bean Crazy Coffee, Chiropractic Sports Institute, Fresh Brothers Pizza, and many others.

For complete details and to register for the event online, visit

www.2014westlakewalkrun.kintera.org or call 866.789.1000.

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