The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

June 4, 2014

Efforts underway to form Purple Stride group

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 — For those in Stanly County that have been affected by pancreatic cancer, now is your chance to leave a mark.

Efforts are underway to organize a local team to participate in the Charlotte affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and its PurpleStride. With a motto of “Know It. Fight It. End It,” the organization focuses on raising awareness and promoting increased research for the deadly disease.

The surviving family of Danny L. Almond is spearheading the effort to form a team in Stanly. Almond died of pancreatic cancer in late 2009, at the age of 53.

Almond’s experience with the disease was typical and further illustrates why so many die of the disease.

“Danny started having pain in the stomach area,” his wife, Cindy Almond, said.

“When we went to the doctor they thought it might be his gall bladder or acid reflux.”

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect. By the time doctors pinpoint the problem, the cancer is too far progressed and the prognosis grim.

That’s what happened to Danny.

While Danny complained of stomach pain, the symptoms can be more vague, prompting victims to ignore treatment.

Victims can also suffer back pain, jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea, and weight loss, as did Danny.“When we got the news, we were in shock,” Almond said.

“We decided to fight. We said ‘what can we do.’ We started looking on the Internet, which was not the best thing to do.”

It was then the harsh reality struck that pancreatic cancer is akin to a death sentence.

Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. Its survival rate has not significantly improved over the last 40 years.

“There is only a 6 percent survival rate,” Holly Patz, event coordinator for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, said.

“Our goal is to double that survival rate by 2020.”

Victims often die because there are no detection tools to diagnose the disease during the cancer’s early stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible. By the time the tumors are discovered, the cancer has typically spread to other organs like the liver.

“There are survivors. There’s not many. But, it’s about getting the research,” said Almond, talking about how the bleakness of the cancer impacts support.

The pancreas is a 6-inch long organ located behind the stomach in the back of the abdomen.

The pancreas contains exocrine and endocrine glands that create pancreatic juices, hormones, and insulin. Pancreatic juices, or enzymes, made by the exocrine glands are released into the intestines by way of a series of ducts in order to help digest fat, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Little has advanced about the cause or risk factors of pancreatic cancer. Smoking, excess weight, family history, and diabetes are cited as risk factors.

In terms of research funding, pancreatic cancer ranks well below other cancers.

Network organizers hope to change that with its annual event. In September, the group will hold its third annual PurpleStride 5K Run & Family-Friendly Walk in Charlotte as a way to promote awareness and raise money for additional research. After a modest beginning, the event continues to grow.

“Our first year we only had 640 participants, last year we had 1,100,” Patz said.

As many as 1,500 are expected to participate this year.

The Network’s Charlotte affiliation is one of only two in the state (Raleigh) to promote awareness for pancreatic cancer. Its volunteer driven to ensure donations go toward research.

Stanly County figures to be a player in its growth. An informational meeting will be held about forming a local team at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sleep Inn in the meeting room.

For information, contact Amber Almond Reynolds at aareynolds@carolina. or (704) 986-0781.

To submit story ideas, contact Ritchie Starnes at (704) 982-2121 ext. 28 or email


Text Only
Local News
  • Youth Choir State youth choir shares message in scripture, song

    They came, they sang, they shared a message.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lending A Hand Red Cross, YMCA discuss emergency preparedness

    They may not be in the Coast Guard, or even in the Boy Scouts, but the kids at this year’s YMCA camp can now say they follow the same motto: always be prepared.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dragon Boat Resident wants to bring boat races to Stanly

    Ann Pressly is not ripping herself off with the idea of bringing dragon boat racing to Stanly County. She is just taking advantage of a good thing and something that is gaining in popularity.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board hopeful files to oppose Poole

    District 1 Board of Education member Melvin Poole has something he has not had since 1998, an opponent.

    July 21, 2014

  • Crisco died of heart issues

    An autopsy report released this week indicates former secretary of commerce Keith Crisco died from heart problems.

    July 18, 2014

  • Stanly projects stall

    Barring any major changes in the next couple of months it is unlikely that any highway projects in Stanly County will receive funding from the N.C. Department of Transportation next year.

    July 18, 2014

  • 4-H Students ‘power up’ over summer break

    “The Magic of Electricity” flowed freely at Stanly Community College recently as 15 youth, ages 9-13, gathered in an electronics lab for a 4-H Summer Blast class which had advertised that the youth would be “shocked” at what they could do.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker RNG powers to grid

    Two months after connecting to the power grid for the first time, Tucker RNG found itself featured in Biomass Magazine.

    July 16, 2014

  • Park Ranger #1 Children test knowledge of Morrow Mtn. ranger

    Ever since the TV show “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” folks can’t help but wonder how they would match up with the grade schoolers in their lives.

    July 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • Council calls on residents to share opinions on STI

    After hearing about the changes the state’s new Strategic Transportation Investment program could have on roads in the area, the Badin Town Council is calling its citizens to action.

    July 14, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide