Pancreatic cancer is something that hits close to home for a number of Star Trek veterans, so once again they are teaming up to raise awareness and fight this disease.
Trek Against Pancreatic Cancer
Today, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) announced that Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Picard is reuniting with Deep Space Nine’s Armin Shimerman and his wife Kitty Swink to form the team “Trek Against Pancreatic Cancer” for PanCAN PurpleStride, the ultimate walk to end pancreatic cancer. The event takes place on Saturday, April 29, 2023, in Los Angeles and in 59 other communities nationwide. The team is calling on Trek fans and everyone across the country to join them in the fight to end the disease. The annual PanCAN PurpleStride walk is the biggest way PanCAN raises funds for its mission to change the lives of people facing pancreatic cancer and advance progress against the disease.
This is the third year in a row that Frakes, Shimerman, and Swink have participated in PanCAN PurpleStride. The mission for the team is personal—Frakes lost his brother, Daniel, to the disease over 20 years ago. And Kitty Swink is a 19-year pancreatic cancer survivor—her husband, Armin, was by her side during the diagnosis and treatment. Star Trek: Enterprise star John Billingsley is also joining the team this year. He lost his mother to pancreatic cancer following just a three-month battle. The team of Trek vets is encouraging their fans across the nation to show support and help others “live long and prosper.”
“A better world, a brighter future. No disease or suffering. Limitless possibility. Hope. These were all part of Gene Roddenberry’s vision of Star Trek,” said Frakes in a statement. “They also run parallel to PanCAN’s vision – to create a world where every patient with pancreatic cancer will thrive.”
“As a 19-year survivor, I know how lucky I am,” said Swink. “I feel it is my job, my honor, to help anyone I can to fight this disease. If we join together, we can make a difference and change the course of pancreatic cancer. I don’t know any group of people that is more generous and dedicated to hope and the future than the Star Trek family. I am optimistic we can unite to create a better future. Make it so.”
Shimerman added, “My goal in getting involved with PanCAN by starting team ‘Trek Against Pancreatic Cancer’ at PurpleStride Los Angeles is simple: I want to see the survival rate increase from where it is to 100%. No one should die of pancreatic cancer. No family should have to endure the loss of a loved one to this ghastly disease.”
City by city, supporters will walk the nation in solidarity on Saturday, April 29, 2023 to raise national awareness and much-needed funds. To find and register for a PanCAN PurpleStride event in your community, visit www.purplestride.org. Those who are unable to attend an event locally can still participate by joining the nationwide event, PurpleStride USA, and registering for free. This year’s goal is to raise $19 million in nearly 60 communities nationwide.
The Star Trek actors are also asking members of the Trek community to support their team and make a donation today at PanCAN.org. There has been good progress in the last five years, with the five-year survival rate reaching a new all-time high this year. However, pancreatic cancer remains the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. and is on track to become the second leading cause.
Here is a video from Frakes on behalf of PanCAN for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month last November.
For more information on the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and its urgent mission to save lives, visit pancan.org