Eric Borden Works Harder for Fellow Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Eric Borden has been involved in the fight against pancreatic cancer for over a decade. He has participated in several charity events with various organizations to raise funds and awareness for the battle against this disease. Though he started fundraising back in the early 2000s when a close friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his activism quickly turned personal when he himself was diagnosed with the disease in 2017. Now, almost six years later, Borden is still fighting to spread awareness for the battle against pancreatic cancer. Now, he is taking on the challenge of Project Purple’s “Work Harder It’s Not Chemo” event. 

Borden Battles Cancer

Borden admits that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer purely by accident. His primary care physician noticed an unusual elevation in his liver enzymes. Several tests later, the doctor still couldn’t figure out what caused the spike, so he sent Borden in for a CAT scan. After the tests, Borden was told there was a lesion on his pancreas. Borden can still remember his reaction when the doctors told him about their findings.

“You can imagine. They’re telling me I have a lesion on my pancreas, 0.7 centimeters,” Borden recounts in an interview on the Project Purple Podcast. “My eyes were like– you remember in Roger Rabbit when the guys eyes pop out? That was pretty much my eyes!” 

His doctors recommended that Borden wait a year before seeking treatment to see if the lesion worsened. However, Borden was not willing to wait and change his health. So, he went to seek treatment at John Hopkins, beginning what became his now six year long battle against pancreatic cancer. Knowing when, and how to advocate for yourself is a big part of what Borden believes has gotten him through this journey. 

“If I didn’t advocate for myself when they told me they saw this lesion on my pancreas and you know, come back in a year,” said Borden, “ if I didn’t say, ‘I don’t think so, let’s go attack this head on and find out all we can,’ I wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

This hands-on mentality has not only helped him through his cancer journey, but pushed him to continue to spread awareness for pancreatic cancer. 

Paying it Forward 

Borden is no stranger to advocacy. When a friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the early 2000s, he began to work  to help raise funds for the fight against pancreatic cancer. Since then, he has only expanded his efforts. For Borden, it’s all about giving back to the pancreatic cancer community. 

“Hey, I’m a lucky guy!” Borden said. “So, I want to take some of my luck and pay it forward, specifically to pancreatic cancer survivors and patients. I want to bring them a sense of hope, to take away that dread that a lot of them feel, and you know, just keep their spirits up, and I feel like it’s my duty to pay back.”

Borden started working specifically with Project Purple when CEO and founder, Dino Verrelli, reached out to him in the hopes of getting him on the Project Purple podcast. Ever since then, he has kept up with the organization, doing what he can to support our mission. 

“It was a little bit different than the mega organizations that are out there,” said Borden. “Project Purple just really struck a different cord with me because of its focus, and the personalities I met. I felt compelled to continue to try to help in any way I can.”

Recently, Borden is excited to support Project Purple during our “Work Harder It’s Not Chemo” event. Work Harder is one of our virtual events that challenges participants to 12 minutes of movement to honor the twelve percent survival rate of pancreatic cancer. The event’s name was taken from one of Project Purple’s slogans. The phrase, “work harder, it’s not chemo” speaks to the perseverance of cancer patients. Eric Borden is excited to be a part of an event that works to spread awareness in such a powerful way. 

“You know, it’s another way of spreading the message,” said Borden. “It shows people that just for twelve minutes a day you can exercise and keep your health up.” 

The event will be held from August 25-27. We encourage everyone to post about their workouts to their chosen platform and use the Project Purple hashtags. For more information on the event, please click here. Overall, the event is meant to push people outside of their comfort zone to honor those who are facing the far greater struggle of a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Borden is excited to be able to take on this challenge to support his fellow survivors and patients. 

Borden’s goal with his advocacy, even before his diagnosis, was to help those who are struggling with this disease. Today, his activism has taken on new meaning, but his goal of a world without pancreatic cancer remains the same. 

“Any way I can spread the word and help people, energize them and bring pancreatic cancer awareness to the population, I’ll get involved as best as I can,” said Borden.

If you are interested in participating in the “Work Harder It’s Not Chemo” event, please click here. 

For those who are interested in supporting Project Purple in other ways, please visit our events page to find one that works for you. Thank you again to all those who have supported the Work Harder campaign!

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