Team Judson ready to Tackle NYCM

“Like most battles with pancreatic cancer, my dad’s diagnosis was sudden, confusing and seemingly out of nowhere,” Scott Carlson, of Team Judson, explains. “My dad has always been healthy my whole life, having no medical issues I can remember.” Scott’s father, Scott, Sr., developed jaundice in the summer of 2014. His doctor placed a stent in the duct to alleviate his symptoms, but his condition worsened when he developed an infection from the procedure. While hospitalized for the infection, a specialist finally uncovered the root of Scott’s medical issues: he had a large tumor that was pressing against his bile duct. Scott’s tumor was biopsied. He and his family received the news no family wants to hear. He had pancreatic cancer.

Scott Carlson
Scott Carlson

Erik Carlson recalls his parents frantically searching for treatment options once the official diagnosis was made. The couple felt blessed to find out that Scott was eligible for the Whipple procedure. The Whipple is a complicated surgery where the head of the pancreas is removed. After Scott, Sr. had the Whipple, his doctors determined there was a small area of cancer cells they could not remove.

Following the Whipple, Scott had chemotherapy and radiation in hopes of eradicating the remaining cancer cells. While he responded favorably to the chemotherapy, his cancer returned and spread rapidly during radiation. Scott, Jr., explains, “One of the days he went in for treatment, his white blood cell count was too low to proceed. After some tests it was decided that there was no reason to continue any treatment at all. This was by far the worst news I have ever heard.”

Team Judson's Erik Carlson with his dad, Scott
Team Judson’s Erik Carlson with his dad, Scott

Scott Carlson, Sr.

Scott Carlson, Sr., passed away from his pancreatic cancer almost one year to the day after having his Whipple. His family is thankful the time they had with him, although it certainly was not long enough. Erik says, “Though that last year of his life had many ups and downs with his health, I am forever grateful for it. He got to see me graduate college, my brother buy his first house and my sister start her first year of college.” Scott adds, “Although it was an extremely tough year, I couldn’t be more grateful for it. If he had not undergone the surgery, we only would have had a month together instead of a year.”

Scott, Sr., was a residential general contractor and president of Judson Construction, a company he founded and ran for over 30 years. Scott, Jr. says, “He was incredibly talented in both the trade aspect of his company as well as the business end. That combined with his incredibly hard-working personality made him very highly regarded by his clients and coworkers.” Erik adds, “Unlike other general contractors, my dad would always be on site doing a lot of the work himself. He loved building things. He even built our entire home from scratch before any of us kids were born.”

Scott Carlson
Scott Carlson

Remembered for His Sense of Humor

Scott was a jovial man who enjoyed making people laugh and smile. Erik says, “He was always a positive and happy person, even up till his last days. His famous saying was, ‘It’s all good’, which is a great way to look at life. No matter what life throws at you, you can either choose to look at it in a negative way or a positive way. I think my dad was definitely the kind of person to look at it in a positive way. When I think about my dad’s life, I am inspired to do more with mine.” Scott adds, “He was always the life of the party, making jokes, telling stories and making people laugh so hard they started to tear up. He was always an incredibly positive person and even when he was sick, he never felt sorry for himself.”

Erik and Scott Run

Scott Carlson, Jr., now an Electrical Engineer, played baseball as a kid. He considered running his ‘weak point’ and had not run for years when his girlfriend of five years, Corinne, challenged him to run a half-marathon with her. Though 13.1 miles sounded like a daunting distance, Scott agreed to train for the race. He credits Corinne for motivating and coaching him to a successful first half-marathon.

Erik, a manufacturing engineer, enjoys running tremendously, explaining, “I love running. It just gives you time to just be outside, getting exercise and some time to think. Back in college I would always use running as a way of dealing with stuff, whether it was anxiety or stress. When my dad was sick, I was running a lot. It helped me put time aside to think about it all.”

Erik with his parents, Judy & Scott
Erik with his parents, Judy & Scott

Running For Project Purple

Signing on to run with the Project Purple team took a bit of teamwork. “Corinne originally got me thinking about running the marathon,” Scott says. “She ran the New York City marathon two years ago and absolutely loved it. We talked about running it together at some point. When my dad was diagnosed, Erik said he was planning on running as well. So, we decided we would all run for a pancreatic cancer charity both for my dad and for Corinne’s grandfather.” Research led the team to Project Purple. After researching the charity, Scott and Erik decided they would sign on to run with the New York City team.

Scott & Corinne
Scott & Corinne

Team Judson

Joining them will be Erik’s best friend and former roommate, Chad. The friends share a passion for running and have a goal of running a marathon by the time they turn 26 (26 by 26, as they call it). “That’s why when the idea came up to run in the marathon with Project Purple, I immediately said yes,” Chad explains. “When Scott was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I wanted to be there for him as a friend. I wanted to do everything I could for Erik, because I knew he would do the same for me. That’s just the Carlson way.”

Corrine, who works as an art director, echoes Chad’s sentiments saying, “I decided to join Team Judson because the Carlson family is incredibly important to me and I would do anything to help the legacy of their father live on.” For Corrine, the battle against pancreatic cancer is also personal. “I also joined the team because I have lost someone to pancreatic cancer: my grandfather, Howie Halpern. It is so scary how quickly this disease progresses and how fast you can lose a loved one. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this.”

Erik & Chad
Erik & Chad
Friends coming together to make a difference

Erik, Scott, Chad and Corinne all find their motivation to train for the marathon through the knowledge they are raising funds for pancreatic cancer research. Scott explains, “By being part of the team we are hoping to help raise awareness and as much money as possible to help end pancreatic cancer. I want to do what I can to make sure no one has to go through what my family did. There are far too many people affected by the disease and too many lives gone too soon.”

Team Judson
Team Judson

Erik adds, “When my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it was eye-opening. Before that, I didn’t even know it existed. It feels great to be a part of the Project Purple team that is contributing to such a bigger picture. I am not just running the New York City Marathon; I am running for something that means a lot to me and with a great team. It means a lot to me and I am humbled to be able to contribute. And, of course, I am running to honor my dad. He would be proud that we are doing all this to help others.”


To make a donation to Team Judson’s Project Purple Fundraiser, please follow this link:

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