A Plymouth man is running a half marathon to honor his father’s fight – and rare survival – of pancreatic cancer.
Rick Trueman is better known by his family and friends as the founder and leader of “Team Trueman.” For the last four years, he has led his family unit in an annual bike ride fundraiser, "PurpleRide Twin Cities," for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure.
On June 16, Trueman will join a new team – TEAMHOPE. Ten years ago Rick ran his first marathon at Grandma's Marathon in Duluth with his entire family cheering him on. This time he is running for an entirely different reason. TEAMHOPE will have almost fifty runners at Grandma’s Marathon, all who are raising money to support pancreatic cancer research. TEAMHOPE allows participants from around the country to train for a variety of events, from 5Ks to marathons, while raising funds and awareness for the fight against pancreatic cancer
"Running 13 miles will be easy compared to what my dad deals with every day," Rick said.
Rick’s father, John Trueman, is one of the lucky ones. October will mark five years since his diagnosis and Whipple surgery to remove the cancer.
Pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in nearly 44,000 Americans this year and more than 37,000 will die of it. Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a five-year relative survival rate in the single digits at just 6 percent. John is beating the odds. After his initial operation and chemotherapy, John Trueman was cancer-free, but that was short-lived. It came back three months later, and this time, after his body rejected the chemo treatment, John was put on a trial drug, which has been effective so far.
"As a family, we are doing what we can to fight the fight," Rick said. "It is a group effort."
The Truemans volunteer in various ways with the Twin Cities affiliate, participating in support groups, hosting fundraisers and even traveling to Washington D.C. for Advocacy Days June 25-26 where more than 600 people from across the country will urge congress to pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act, which will ensure that the National Cancer Institute develops a long-term comprehensive strategic research plan. In September, Team Trueman will be riding again in the annual PurpleRide.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will host the PurpleRide Twin Cities fundraiser 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Elm Creek Regional Park in Maple Grove. To register visit www.purpleride.org.
(Information provided by a Pancreatic Cancer Action Network press release.)