Polly’s Run, a fundraiser to support pancreatic cancer research, will take place Sunday, June 3, at Tiguex Park near Albuquerque’s Old Town. The event will feature a 5K run/walk that starts at 8:30 a.m. and a Kid’s K that starts at 9:30 a.m. All proceeds benefit the Polly Rogers Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Polly’s Run is named for Polly Rogers, a healthy non-smoking mother of three boys who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2009, just 11 months after her diagnosis. That year, her sons and best friend started Polly’s Run to honor her memory. Now in its ninth year, Polly’s Run honors those who have lost their fight with pancreatic cancer and raises money and awareness for pancreatic cancer research.
“[My mother] taught me and my brothers that you can’t just sit back,” says Josh Rogers, Polly’s Run organizer and Polly’s middle son. “You’ve got to make a difference while you’re here.” Last year, about 600 people walked or ran to raise more than $33,000.
Pancreatic cancer remains one of the most difficult cancers to overcome because it is seldom diagnosed in its early stages. The American Cancer Society estimates that 270 New Mexicans will lose their battle to pancreatic cancer in 2018. The National Cancer Institute reports that fewer than one in 10 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between 2008 and 2014 lived for five years or more after their diagnosis. But pancreatic cancer research is yielding new treatment approaches that may improve these survival results and help more people to live longer.
Josh Rogers wants to bring those new advances to the fight against pancreatic cancer in New Mexico. He remembers how difficult it was to watch his mother fight pancreatic cancer. He says many of the people who take part in Polly’s Run each year have lost loved ones to the disease, too.
“Polly’s Run participants understand that it’s absolutely critical for the families who are left to carry on this fight,” he says. “The participants are very passionate about finding a cure.”
Polly’s Run will take place Sunday, June 3, 2018, at Tiguex Park, 1800 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110. The Run/Walk begins at 8:30 am and the Kids K begins at 9:30 am. View the routes at http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/680691580. Parking will be available on Bellamah Road NW along 18th Street and 20th Street; Mountain Road will be closed. All of the proceeds from Polly’s Run benefit the Polly Rogers Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center. Learn more at https://www.pollysrun.com/.
The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in a 500-mile radius. Its 125 board-certified oncology specialty physicians include cancer surgeons in every specialty (abdominal, thoracic, bone and soft tissue, neurosurgery, genitourinary, gynecology, and head and neck cancers), adult and pediatric hematologists/medical oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, and radiation oncologists. They, along with more than 600 other cancer healthcare professionals (nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, navigators, psychologists and social workers), provided cancer care for nearly 60 percent of the adults and 70 percent of the children in New Mexico affected by cancer. They treated 11,928 patients in 92,551 ambulatory clinic visits in addition to in-patient hospitalizations at UNM Hospital. These patients came from every county in the State. More than 12 percent of these patients participated in cancer clinical trials testing new cancer treatments and 35 percent of patients participated in other clinical research studies, including tests of novel cancer prevention strategies and cancer genome sequencing. The 130 cancer research scientists affiliated with the UNMCCC were awarded almost $50 million in federal and private grants and contracts for cancer research projects and published 301 high quality publications. Promoting economic development, they filed more than 30 new patents in FY16, and since 2010, have launched 11 new biotechnology start-up companies. Scientists associated with the UNMCCC Cancer Control & Disparities have conducted more than 60 statewide community-based cancer education, prevention, screening, and behavioral intervention studies involving more than 10,000 New Mexicans. Finally, the physicians, scientists and staff have provided education and training experiences to more than 230 high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellowship students in cancer research and cancer health care delivery. Learn more at cancer.unm.edu.