Just a little over one year ago, Granby resident Katherine "Kasey" Grimaldi received a devastating diagnosis—doctors told her that she had pancreatic cancer.
“In April 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Pancreatic Cancer. Prior to that, I was healthy and living a wonderful life that included working a full-time job, raising my young daughter, and enjoying family and friends,” she said. “Fortunately for me, I experienced symptoms.”
More often than not, pancreatic cancer has no symptoms and is usually found at Stage 4 when it has spread and is too late to have surgery or other treatments. Only 6 percent of patients diagnosed will survive for five years.
“I experienced severe abdominal pains that came out of nowhere one day and went into my back. Knowing my body, I knew something was not right. I immediately contacted my GI doctor who initially thought it was my gallbladder,” she said. “After experiencing the pain again a week later, I went to the hospital where after four days of tests, the diagnosis was made.”
“In the past year, I not only had a very extensive and long surgery to remove the tumor but also endured 7-1/2 months of intensive treatment which included radiation, oral chemotherapy and intravenous chemotherapy. I have had 2 clean CAT scans to date and credit most of my recovery to the tremendous medical and support team I have around me,” she added. “This team includes my doctors, especially Dr. Ramon Jimenez, who completed the difficult surgery, my husband who has been an amazing and supportive caregiver, my amazing family as well as my wonderful DCF family (co-workers) and my great group of friends who have been beside me every step of the way through this incredible journey. “
In an effort to give back, Kasey is recruiting people to attend the upcoming annual PurpleStride Connecticut 5k, in addition to raising money to support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. There is just not enough money for research and pancreatic cancer does not get nearly the attention or funding as other cancers do.
PurpleStride Connecticut will be held on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at Hubbard Park in Meriden. Registration opens at 8am, opening ceremonies will be at 9:30am and the walk/timed run begins at 10am. The event is family friendly and there will be music and refreshments provided.
Pancreatic cancer is anticipated to move from the fourth- to the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. by 2020, and possibly as early 2015. It has the lowest five-year survival rate of any major cancer, at just 6 percent. This year alone this terrible disease will claim the lives of approximately 500 people who live in Connecticut. Visit www.pancan.org to learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s efforts to
To donate or to obtain further information, please go to www.purplestride.org/connecticut.