Like many Americans, my life was completely altered by losing a family member to pancreatic cancer.

Studies show that pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and has an unbelievable five-year survival rate of just 6 percent. These statistics are completely shocking and disheartening.

However, since I have been plugged into Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, hope for tomorrow has been created for me, as it has for so many around the United States. It personally gave me hope because, surprisingly, I found other people who are aggressively fighting this disease and have pledged to never give upe.

As Pancreatic Cancer Month comes to a close, I passionately reach out to the community to remain actively involved in making a difference as we all unite to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer. On Sept. 19, the U.S. House of Representative passed the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act (formally known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act). Continual sustainment depends upon the U.S. Senate passing the bill as well.

I strongly urge all who have been affected by pancreatic cancer to take a stand and connect with the local Baton Rouge Pancreatic Cancer Action Network group to get involved and make a positive difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

Ashley Wallis, community representative

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Baton Rouge