A five-year run has concluded for a notable fundraiser benefitting the fight against pancreatic cancer in the Kingston area.
The 5th and final Darlene’s Walk took place on the weekend of October 7 of this year. The five-kilometre walk was started in 2019 in memory of Darlene Murphy, whose life was cut short by pancreatic cancer. The event raised $16,935 bringing their five-year total to over $100,000.
“We’re overwhelmed! We didn’t realize we were going to make $100,000 in five years, that’s for sure,” says Richard Murphy, Darlene’s spouse. “It’s unreal how many people have supported us.”
The proceeds were presented to Dr. Khaled Zaza, Interim Clinical Director of Oncology at Kingston Health Sciences Centre, at City Hall at dusk on November 15 as the building became lit up in purple, in honour of World Pancreatic Cancer Day, which is November 16.
“We’re fortunate to have this care in our community,” says Lori vanWynsberghe, Darlene’s sister. “For treatment we just have to drive 20 minutes. Darlene was really hoping that continued research would enable physicians to detect pancreatic cancer earlier, to give patients a fighting chance.”
The family and organizers of Darlene’s Walk are hopeful that the culmination of their campaign serves as an inspiration for other groups; their hope is for the legacy of Darlene’s Walk to encourage people to organize charitable fundraisers to help support health care in Kingston.
“As a nurse myself, I see the need for this kind of support in our hospitals,” explains Donna Blair, Darlene’s sister. “With stronger education and research to better identify cancer symptoms sooner, patients have a better chance of fighting this disease.”