Get to Know Project Purple Ambassador Pam Sargent-Morris

Pam Sargent-Morris’ dad was the strongest person she knew. A former colon cancer survivor, he never complained about much, even if he was sick. When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it was hard to believe. 

After a two-month battle, her father passed away from pancreatic cancer. Since then, Morris has used her father as her why” when fundraising or running for Project Purple. 

“Before he passed away, I was able to tell him about Project Purple and that I wanted to raise a little bit of money for pancreatic cancer for him. It would be easy to watch the world go by and live my life without raising awareness or fundraising for pancreatic cancer, but I do it to honor my dad,” she said. “I hope one day that when someone hears pancreatic cancer, they don’t automatically go into despair but have a feeling of ‘okay, I can beat this.’”  

Morris has done several fundraising campaigns and fundraisers for Project Purple since becoming an ambassador in April 2017. She has done many garage sales, peer fundraising, and an art show to raise money and awareness for pancreatic cancer.  

Her first marathon with Project Purple was the Chicago Marathon in 2017, followed by the Lincoln Marathon, Pioneer Program for Dallas Marathon, and the Marine Corps Marathon in 2018 and 2019. She has also participated in multiple virtual walk/runs and will be a part of the Project Purple Berlin team in 2020. 

“Project Purple allows me to raise awareness and support for pancreatic cancer through running,” she said. “It gives me a way to be connected to a group that has been affected by pancreatic cancer where I can share my tears and story without explanation or judgement. Along the way, I have learned and done so many things and made many friends because of Project Purple.”  

Morris commends Alex Trebek and all that he has done to spread awareness about pancreatic cancer through the media. She believes that the media needs to do a better job of talking about this disease, though 

“I feel that the media needs to do a better job talking more about pancreatic cancer. The only time it makes the news is unfortunately when someone famous dies,” she said. “Project Purple, along with the rest of the pancreatic cancer coalitions and all who have been impacted by pancreatic cancer, must continue to talk about pancreatic cancer and how important it is to find a cure.” 

Morris’ connection to pancreatic cancer has changed her outlook on life. Since her father passed away, not only has she been an advocate for this disease, but she wants to live her life to the fullest and be happy. 

“Not only has our family become closer, but also the quote, ‘never say never,’ comes to mind. I never thought my dad would have pancreatic cancer and I certainly never thought I would lose my dad to it either,” she said. “Now, I am an ambassador and active runner with Project Purple. There are no guarantees in life and one day I may not be able to have these chances or opportunities, so why not do them? You got to live life to the fullest and be happy!”  

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