Rhonda’s Kiss, recently raised $600,000 to help Cleveland residents with cancer who are unable to afford treatment and emotional support for their disease including cancer screenings in urban communities, as well as patient services, help in navigating the medical system both in hospitals and at home, and education and awareness about the varying forms of cancer.
The special fundraising event on behalf of Rhonda’s Kiss was held July 10th, in partnership between the Marc A. and Rhonda L. Stefanski Foundation and The Cleveland Clinic’s Community Outreach Program, and was hosted by Marc and his children in memory of their mother (Rhonda) who died from pancreatic cancer late last year. Attendees included nearly 500 corporate, civic, healthcare and community leaders.
“The event was such an inspiring and fitting tribute to Rhonda’s memory and legacy,” stated Marc A. Stefanski. “It was also a night of healing for my children and me, enabling us to move forward as a family while never forgetting what Rhonda meant to us.
“We are thrilled to have raised so much money in our first year – funds that will directly benefit cancer patients who need it most. I am grateful to everyone who donated to such a worthy cause, and also made it such a fun and memorable evening.”
The donation will be administered through Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute, which will handle requests for funds and evaluate needs through its Community Outreach Program.
The many types of pancreatic cancer can be divided into two general groups. While approximately 99% of cases occur in the part of the pancreas which produces digestive enzymes, known as the exocrine component. There are several sub-types of exocrine pancreatic cancers, but their diagnosis and treatment have much in common. The remaining cases are found in organ’s endocrine tissue. Regardless, pancreatic cancer rarely occurs in people under 40, and is generally diagnosed in more men than women.
The most common signs and symptoms of the disease often include yellowing of the skin, abdominal or back pain, unexplained weight loss, light-colored stools, dark urine and loss of appetite. However, they often do not appear until the cancer has reached an advanced stage, at which time it may have already spread to other parts of the body.
Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include tobacco smoking, obesity, diabetes, and certain rare genetic conditions, with about 25% of cases are linked to smoking, and 5%-10% connected to inherited genes