About the Walk
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My name is Claire Zampine Muollo; I am a Quincy, MA resident, and graduate of Braintree High School. I was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer July 2009. On July 29, 2009 I underwent an 11-hour operation called The Whipple Procedure. I continue to receive chemotherapy going into my fourth year at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Pancreatic cancer has had its effects on me and my two sons, Robert, age 29 and David, age 21. When I became ill, I weighed 135 pounds and decreased to my current 97 pounds. The pancreatic cancer metastasized to my lungs in October, 2010. After the operation and when I could get around better, I continued with chemotherapy as well as alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture and attended a healing class. I am positive that my faith, sense of humor, perseverance and the above have all contributed to my longevity. I thank God for every morning and day and spend as much time doing the important things. I know my life journey has its obstacles, but we can overcome them by having a positive attitude and the support of family and friends. Some days are tough, teary and weary. I still keep busy as best I can as I now have neuropathy in both hands and feet.
During my fight against pancreatic cancer, I realized the passion the pancreatic research doctors at Dana Farber Cancer Institute have to better detect the disease in its early stages, to allow those inflicted with this disease to have a better quality of life, and ultimately, to find a cure. Sitting around my dining room table, I told my two sons that I’d like to do something to help fight this cancer. They urged me not to just talk about it, but to do it! So, in October 2010 I made this my crusade and organized in my area, the first PROMISES FOR PURPLE PANCREATIC CANCER AWARENESS WALK. I formed a committee of two other Marine moms, my sons, my neighbor, my niece and sisters. To promote my cause, I mailed informational letters and personally visited local businesses. I have been interviewed at a local TV station twice and featured in local newspapers. The response was overwhelming. Naturally, everything was purple! I continued my marketing efforts by contacting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and received small purple ribbons to distribute to our participants and informative brochures on the disease. Many items are donated.
Walk day is an emotional one for Bob, David, extended family and me. Everyone arrives at the Walk wearing purple. With all my visits for chemotherapy and massage at the cancer institute, they know me as the “Purple Lady” and have since persuaded the gift shops at two locations of DFCI to highlight areas of their shops each November with purple items for pancreatic cancer. I sure would like to see local and national sports players wear purple each November! Wouldn’t you? I am working on it! I thank my two sons, other family members, friends, co-workers, volunteers and vendors for their love, prayers and support during my exhausted fight against pancreatic cancer.
Through my organization, Promises for Purple Pancreatic Cancer Awareness, my committee and I have raised over $70,000. I am doing this for past, present and future patients. I feel lucky to be alive. I was hospitalized this past summer twice with pneumonia and ecoli poisoning in my blood stream caused from abscesses in my liver. The nurses and doctors called me “complicated.” I guess I am. Keep the purple flowing!
If you would like to support the research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on pancreatic cancer, please give a gift. If you prefer, you can mail a paper check payable to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Pancreatic Cancer Research, Promises for Purple, P. O. Box 850494, Braintree, MA 02185. Remember to put your name and address on your check.
On behalf of myself and many other pancreatic cancer patients currently, past and unfortunately in the future, thank you for your support!
Claire Zampine Muollo
Promises For Purple
P.O. Box 850494, Braintree, MA 02185