[rescue_column size=”one-third” position=”first”]nancy
pat_john_canale[/rescue_column][rescue_column size=”two-third” position=”second”]Pants Off Racing, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of, and helping those affected by, pancreatic cancer.

At Pants Off Racing, Inc. (“POR”), we often receive the question, “What is POR?”
In short, we are a group of high energy, fun loving, sports enthusiasts who started Pants Off Racing, Inc. to help pancreatic cancer victims and support their battle against this disease each day. The reason we have chosen this cause is because of Nancy “Pants” Amato, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the winter of 2006.

I still remember the exact moment I was told that my mom had pancreatic cancer and was given only six months to live. It is one of those moments that you will never forget and changes your life forever. At the time, I tried to relate to what my mom was going through and I still try to imagine what it must feel like to hear those words from your doctor and how much courage it must take to keeping fighting, keep hoping, and keep living?!? I admire my mother for many reasons, but more than anything else, I admire her determination and strength that she shows throughout her fight with pancreatic cancer. It takes a lot of courage and a lot of support to combat this diease, and luckily, she has both of those things.

Initially, I wondered how and why this happened to me and my family. Why us, right?! And, soon enough we realized that this hardship was not just about us – it was about a whole lot of other people out there facing the exact same thing. It just so happened that those around us and the support they showed us as a family, made a huge different in Pants’ battle with pancreatic cancer and our own family’s ability to deal with this news. To this day, the support we have received from friends, family, and strangers has certainly proved to be one of the greatest influences in recent medical history. And, basically, it was this support we received as a family that started POR and drove us to do whatever it was we could to make a similar and personal impact on those families faced with the same  difficulties we experienced and continue to experience as a family dealing with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Now, let’s go back for a minute…”What is POR?” Pants Off Racing, Inc. is a group of people dedicated to helping those affected by pancreatic cancer. It is friends, family, and strangers who share our passion for community and believe that community support will ultimately outweigh the odds of this disease. We believe that by providing support for pancreatic cancer victims and their families, we can improve and significantly diminish the harsh realities faced by those in similar circumstances.

Pants Off Racing has two goals. They are, to:
1. Spread awareness about pancreatic cancer; and
2. Directly connect with families and individuals impacted by pancreatic cancer.

A lot of our efforts are small, but we learned that every action makes a difference. And, it is our ‘Kat Family Program, Purple Shirt Thursdays, Music by POR, team events and races are ways we spread hope throughout the pancreatic cancer community. Providing compassionate support to pancreatic cancer victims and families is how we are going to fight this disease, and we have chosen to use all funds received by donors to support families, not research, because we believe that our greatest impact will be on those direct interactions we have with those who need it right now.

What you may not know is: pancreatic cancer is one of the fastest killers in the cancer family, and the 5-year survival rate is only 5%. At the same time, pancreatic cancer has been drastically overlooked in the public eye. The understanding of pancreatic cancer – that is, detection and treatment – lags far behind that of most other forms of cancer. For instance:

– Nearly 42,470 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and over 34,000 will die from the disease.
– Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers, with an average life expectancy after diagnosis of just 3 – 6 months.
– 75% of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first 12 months of the diagnosis.
– The National Cancer Institute (NCI) spent an estimated $97.1 million on pancreatic cancer research. In 2010, a sum comprising just 2% of the NCI’s $5 billion annual cancer research budget.

Simply put, the lack of awareness and recognition of pancreatic cancer in the general public has prevented any real changes over the past 30 years and it seems that the extremely aggressive nature of this cancer has only made it more difficult for people to fully understand and react to what is happening. Consequently, the funding for support programs is significantly less than that of any other cancers.

The phrase, “you can hope or you can help,” is something we take to heart and it is our goal to live and act within our means to help as many victims and families that are dealing with the same hardships we have seen in our family.

It has been our goal from the beginning to make some change in the lives of others as we have experienced in our own lives. It is not without those closest to us that we would be able to stand here today and continue our fight against pancreatic cancer. We would like to thank everyone involved in POR and we hope you are as excited as we are! Your love and support does not go unnoticed.

As you were,

The Meerkats