After three years of preparing for the Berlin Marathon, Pam Sargent-Morris is running it with Project Purple. She is running those 26.2 miles in honor of her dad Les Sargent who lost his life to pancreatic cancer in 2017– just 62 days after being diagnosed. While her dad was alive, Pam discovered Project Purple and told him she would use the sport as a way to fundraise and help fight this disease.
“Project Purple is more than a charity fighting for a cure. It’s a community,” Pam said. “When Dino and the team reached out to me, it was so personal. They cared. I wanted to be part of the organization because they love the people who are part of it.”
Pam jumped in and got involved with Project Purple right away. “I was already registered to run Chicago in 2017, but after I found Project Purple I decided to fundraise anyway,” she said. Her parents were the first donors.
Pam would call her dad after every donation she got. While initially thinking her fundraising would be small, she was surprised at how many people wanted to pitch in. Her dad got to see her meet her $1K goal, and he passed away just two days before she met her $2K goal.
But Pam kept running. She ran the Chicago Marathon that year, ran various half marathons, and became a Project Purple Ambassador in 2018.
Pam’s running and fundraising have become a family and community affair. Right after her dad passed, there was a neighborhood garage sale and it sparked an idea for Pam– a garage sale fundraiser.
What started as a regular garage sale turned into an event the entire community looks forward to. Now each year Pam and her family host the garage sale, in Stillwater, OK at her mom’s house.
“My mom collects donated things from friends and strangers throughout the year for the garage sale. They remember us from past years and know it benefits a good cause, so they are eager to participate in any way,” Pam said.
This year, Pam’s aunts flew in to help with the sale. It was a lot of work to organize, but it’s a fantastic way to raise funds, help the community get educated about pancreatic cancer, and bring people together.
Pam’s efforts are culminating this year at the Berlin Marathon, which she achieved through fundraising and the support of family and friends.
“My dad loved watching running races. I know he would have loved Berlin.”
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