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Pancreatic cancer survivors Suzanne Bourdeau and Joan Gardyasz pose together prior to starting the Sarasota Walk last year. File photo.
Longboat Key Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 8 years ago

Sarasota Walk takes strides to raise awareness

by: Mallory Gnaegy A&E Editor

Longboat Key resident and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Foundation founder Nancy Flemming started the Sarasota Walk for pancreatic cancer awareness seven years ago because of a personal experience. Her husband, Harry, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died nine days later. There is no definitive treatment and no screening for the cancer — 100% of the walk proceeds go toward cancer research.

There will be pre-walk events this year, and registration begins at 8 a.m. the day of the walk, Saturday, Nov. 12, at J.D. Hamel Park, in Sarasota. During this time, information booths featuring clinicians from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando will be set up, and participants can register to win raffle prizes donated by local businesses. Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell will be officiating the event.

This year, Cancer Support Community and Community Foundation of Sarasota are supporting the event in-kind. Starbucks will be sponsoring the walk and will be providing refreshments. This year, there will be a booth with buttons at which teammates can write the name of whom they are walking for, and there will also be survivor buttons for those who have survived cancer.

This year’s Sarasota Walk T-shirts were designed by a Ringling College of Art and Design student.
In 2010, there were 12 teams consisting of 100 participants. Flemming hopes to see the same teams return — as well as draw new faces.

Team Abba, made up of co-workers who walk in honor of a colleague, is known for drawing the most participants. In past years, they have had 70 teammates. She also expects the team “The Three R’s” to return, because the group has participated since the first year of the walk. The Three R’s team, made of up friends who met at the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center, walks in honor of Roseanne Roche, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2005.

Sarasota Walk for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness
When: 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Where: J.D. Hamel Park, Sarasota
Information: Call 400-4597, email [email protected] or visit 

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