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Australia’s pancreatic cancer charity launches Remember September 2020

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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has predicted pancreatic cancer will become the third most common cancer killer in Australia this year, and for the first time claim more lives than breast cancer and prostate cancer. Creating awareness and raising funds is vital for investing into research to improve health outcomes.

Remember September encourages people to make a lifestyle change for 30 days in honour of a loved one, and is the brainchild of brothers David and Ben Wilheim who set up the challenge after losing their father to pancreatic cancer in 2014, a year after the disease also claimed their cousin.

Danielle at age 33, surviving just 6 weeks post diagnosis. “Pancreatic cancer caused so much anguish for my family. We were astounded at the dire statistics around this disease and realised something needed to be done,” David said. “The Remember September challenge is simple: give up something in your diet in honour of a loved one to raise awareness and funds for pancreatic
cancer.”

In its 6th year, the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation’s Remember September campaign is rolling out in all major capital cities as well as regional centres around Australia, and in 2020, the campaign aims to reach the fundraising target of $350,000.

“The campaign focuses on embracing lifestyle changes and keeping healthy, but people take the challenge for a variety of reasons,” says David, “not just to raise awareness and funding for vital research, but doing good and feeling good, for someone special. I like that we can give that to all Australians.”

Avner Foundation’s CEO, Michelle Stewart, said “the 5-year survival rate for the disease is very low at 10.7% compared to other cancers, which now exceed 90 per cent survival.”

“The disease receives little or no government funding, so we are desperate to raise more funds through alternative means, to continue funding the best researchers in Australia to make an impact on this disease,” she said.

The Remember September Challenge has raised almost $230,000 for pancreatic cancer research to date, and we encourage people to take the challenge or support a challenger. Challengers have the option to give up caffeine, sugar, alcohol, or take the extreme (and original) challenge of drinking only water during the month of September.

A “Purple Pass” is provided to all participants, which allows a night off the challenge for a special event.

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