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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Save-the-World Saturday: Silent Killer

I wanted to share a video with you of one of my favorite comedians, Bill Hicks. However, it's very hard to find a "work-safe" or even "slightly" NSFW video of Bill. Hicks didn't pull any punches with his subject matter or his vocabulary, which is why he was one of my favorites. After some searching, I found a very cleverly edited video by YouTube user NETER420 of the final moments of one of Bill's concert videos:

On June 16, 1993, Bill was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died eight months later at the age of 32.
Michael Landon, much-beloved star of Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Highway to Heaven, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on April 5, 1991. Within three months, he passed away on July 1, 1991.
He made one final appearance on the tonight show with his good friend Johnny Carson on May 9, 1991. Here is the latter half of that interview. (Apologies for the low quality, but it is the best I could find.)

Patrick Swayze's battle with pancreatic cancer lasted much longer through the use of experimental drugs and procedures, but he, too, succumbed on September 14, 2009, at the age of 57 - 20 months after his diagnosis.
Pancreatic cancer has some of the scariest mortality rates of any type of cancer. More than 95% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer do not survive longer than 5 years. Complete remission is extremely rare.
It is known as the "silent killer" because the symptoms are almost unnoticeable until the cancer is advanced. This is one of the main reasons for the high mortality rates.
I apologize for the morbidity of this blog entry, but November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and I can think of no better way to raise awareness than to show just how scary pancreatic cancer is.
For today's entry, I have selected two organizations working in the fight against pancreatic cancer, the first of which is The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

The other organization that I wanted to share with you today is the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Both of these organizations' websites have a good deal of information about pancreatic cancer and about how you can help in the fight.
I would like to leave you with the statement that Bill Hicks wrote a couple of weeks before his death and asked to be released after his passing as his last word, not because it necessarily has anything to do with pancreatic cancer research, but because it adds poignancy to the all-too-early loss of this young man's wisdom:
"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks

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