Star Trek Team Was Top Fundraiser For Pancreatic Cancer Action Network 2024 Charity Walk

(Photo: PanCan)

On Saturday the the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) held its largest annual fundraiser, PanCAN PurpleStride, the ultimate walk to end pancreatic cancer. For the third year in a row, PurpleStride took place nationwide across nearly 60 cities as survivors, supporters, celebrities and special guests walked in solidarity to raise awareness and much-needed funds to fight one of the world’s deadliest forms of cancer. In Los Angeles, a team of Star Trek celebrities led the way, powered by the generosity of Trekkies.

Trek Against Pancreatic Cancer 2024

Nationwide an estimated 70,000 people attended PurpleStride events reaching the goal of $19 million to fight the disease. Star Trek guest star Kitty Swink, a 20-year pancreatic cancer survivor; joined up with her husband, DS9’s Armin Shimerman, along with Enterprise’s John Billingsley, TNG’s Jonathan Frakes, and Juan Carlos Coto, brother of the late Manny Coto, executive producer on Enterprise. Together their “Trek Against Pancreatic Cancer” team brought in the biggest haul of any fundraising team, with over $213,000.

As 2024 marked her 20th anniversary as a pancreatic cancer survivor, Swink also led the event in Santa Monica, including speaking at the event.

Kitty Swink on stage with other pancreatic cancer survivors at PurpleStride Santa Monica (PanCAN)

Speaking to TrekMovie, Kitty Swink said of the event:

“This is my 7th Purple Stride. 4th since we formed Team Trek. They are always hopeful, joyful, sometimes inspiring. But this one? Sure, successful in the sense we raised a great deal of money. Okay, Team Trek No. 1 in the country. And that there were more people there and many more survivors, which is so hopeful. Our Star Trek family walked all over the country. Thank you all. But there was a sense that we are on the cusp of real change for Pancreatic Cancer patients. That was magical. And that Trek is a small part of that? Well that is what made me the happiest. We, our community, helped.”

Kitty Swink and Armin Shimerman at PurpleStride 2024 (Photo: Albert L. Ortega)

The annual PurpleStride event is the number one way PanCAN raises funds to fuel its mission and the dollars raised change the lives of people facing pancreatic cancer and advance progress against the disease. PurpleStride events across the country also included Lisa Niemi Swayze, Eric Idle, Miss America Madison Marsh, Family of the late Jerry Springer, Little House on the Prairie cast, and Rosario Dawson.

Jonathan Frakes at PurpleStride 2024 (Photo: Albert L. Ortega)

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States with a five-year survival rate of just 13%. With no standard early detection test and few effective treatment options, there continues to be an urgent need to increase funding, research, and awareness to improve outcomes for people with pancreatic cancer. Coast to coast, the pancreatic cancer community came together to raise awareness and funding for this disease.

“All of you here today are making a difference. Just as I chose to get involved 24 years ago, you, too, are making a choice to get involved and to fight back,” said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, president and CEO, PanCAN at PurpleStride New York City’s opening ceremony. “With your support, PanCAN will continue to raise awareness, invest in critical research, provide free services to patients and their families, and accelerate progress through advocacy.”

John Billingsley and Armin Shimerman with Bea Henderson at PurpleStride 2024 (Photo: Albert L. Ortega)

According to PanCAN, progress is being made in the pancreatic cancer community. In January, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer reached a new all-time high of 13%, an increase of one percentage point from last year. This is the first time since 2017 that the survival rate has increased for three consecutive years, a promising upward trend in the fight against this tough disease. However, pancreatic cancer is currently the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. and is on track to become the second leading cause.

You can still donate at the Trek Against Pancreatic Cancer participation and donation page.

For more about the event and PanCan (and Star Trek stuff too), check out our supplemental All Access Star Trek podcast interview from last week with special guests Armin Shimerman, Kitty Swink, Jonathan Frakes, and Juan Carlos Coto.

Find more celebrity news at TrekMovie.

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Way To Boldly Go, Team Trek!

I didn’t donate to the Trek team, a friend in Carlsbad participated. We kicked in a hundred bucks to the effort through her. Cancer’s a b**ch, while it wasn’t pancreatic cancer, it claimed my brother, mom, and grandmother. Every little bit helps…..

The C is a B for sure. It took my beloved Mother-in law, Brother-in-law, My own Wife, and her dear favorite Cousin.

Well done!
Check out John Billingsley in Manhunt on Apple TV.
It’s about the hunt for John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln was assassinated.

It was good to see him in that. And besides a couple of possibly questionable casting decisions, I thought it well-done.

Casting? Who?

Tobias Menzies looks absolutely nothing like Edwin Stanton did, for one. But he played a fine lead. And even though (spoiler) the writers decided to change history a bit in the end, I still found the series very enjoyable.