It’s the best Kentucky Derby party north of the Mason-Dixon line, and it’s a fundraiser for a great cause, too.
It’s Ron’s Run for the Roses, benefitting the Ron Foley Foundation and the fight against pancreatic cancer. This year Dr. Peter Yu, physician-in-chief of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, serves as the honorary chairman of the event.
Ron, in this case, was Ron Foley, who died in 2005 of pancreatic cancer.
“When Ron was diagnosed, we were stunned at the grim statistics related to pancreatic cancer,” said Barbara Foley, Ron’s wife and president of the Ron Foley Foundation. “After he passed away, it became my mission to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research, to raise awareness through education, and to raise funds for pancreatic cancer patients in need.”
“About 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year,” said Dr. Andrew Salner, oncologist and medical director of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital. “About 700 of them are here in Connecticut. Unfortunately, the long-term survival rate is only 8 or 9 percent.”
There is some good news for those who are diagnosed early.
“Twenty percent of patients who present have the disease identified early enough that it can be removed,” Dr. Salner noted, adding that often those patients will be further treated with radiation or chemotherapy – sometimes both, with their survival rate edging upward slightly.
“Of those with early disease, the survival rate has worked its way up to about 29%. But we need to figure out how to catch the disease early,” Dr. Salner said. The cause of pancreatic cancer is not fully known, but research is on-going on all fronts to fight this disease.
The Foundation started 9 years ago with what has become the organization’s main fundraiser: a Kentucky Derby party in the back yard of the Foley home.
“We had 75 guests and raised $19,000 and gave it all back for pancreatic cancer research,” Barbara Foley recalled.
This year, over 450 guests are expected to gather at Folly Farm in Simsbury to raise in excess of $300,000.
Join the Ron Foley Foundation in the fight against pancreatic cancer at the 10th annual Ron’s Run for the Roses on Sat., May 5, 2018 from 2:30 to 7 PM at Folly Farm in Simsbury. For tickets and more information, visit here.