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Local Group to Host Pancreatic Cancer Bike Rally

hrposter1track 10-13Many charities and organizations sponsor a “run” for awareness and fund-raising. On November 9th, Polk County will be the home of the Hope Ride, a bicycle ride along the Ft. Fraser Trail. Benefiting the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance of Polk County (PCAP), the ride organizers hope to raise awareness of the fourth leading cause of cancer death.

In 2010, after Robyn Ferguson’s husband died from pancreatic cancer, she was informed a close family friend was given the same diagnosis. She was moved to act and contacted several people she knew who had been touched by the disease. “Without hesitation, John Rodda, Cheryl Philpot, Jack Hollis, Victor Troiano and Sam Sheets agreed to join forces to form a coalition against pancreatic cancer.,” she wrote to BikeLakeland.

Ferguson add that the community of family members and loved ones make the PCAP a close-knit and steadfast organization, “Symptoms are vague and with no test that allows for early diagnosis, it is often too late when the disease is discovered and there is a lack of viable treatment options at that point. Too many of our friends and loved ones have been lost to this beast of a disease and we want to make a difference. You will not find a more caring or dedicated group of people with a hope and thankfulness for the future than a gathering of people who have been touched by pancreatic cancer at a PCAP event. We have all had to walk the same journey,” she wrote.

“We have been striving to make whatever difference we can from that point forward. Unfortunately (because of a pancreatic cancer diagnosis) and fortunately (because they are some extraordinary people) as time has passed more volunteers have joined in with the efforts of Pancreatic Cancer Alliance of Polk County and we hope to grow our presence in the county through our fundraising and memorial events,” Ferguson added.

One such event is Hope Ride 2013. The group hopes to raise $25,000 through donations and entry fees. Riders may choose to complete a 4.5 mile bike ride (with a turn around at the Highland City rest area) or 10 mile bike ride (with the turn around at Bartow Ford). There is also a two-mile walk option for those who choose not to ride. Entry fees are $20 for adults, Youth 12 and under are $10, and a family of four is $40. Donations can be made at

Hope Ride 2013 Details:

Hope Ride 2013 is Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Meet us at Polk State College and follow along Ft. Fraser Trail by foot or by pedal. Three options available: 2 mile walk, 4.5 mile bike ride (turn around at Highland City rest area) or 10 mile bike ride (turn around at Bartow Ford). Water will be available along the way and safe crossings provided by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death and is predicted to become 2nd in a few short years. The five year survival rate stands at only 6%. We hope you will join us in the fight against pancreatic cancer! – See more at:

For more information about the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance of Polk County:

Bike event fundraiser page:

For more information about Pancreatic Cancer:

Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas — an organ in your abdomen that lies horizontally behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas secretes enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that help regulate the metabolism of sugars.

Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early. Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it’s a leading cause of cancer death. Signs and symptoms may not appear until pancreatic cancer is quite advanced and surgical removal isn’t possible. – Mayo Clinic

Information about treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and vaccine therapy at the National Cancer Institute