YORKTOWN, N.Y. --- For Rachel Katz, it's all about keeping the memory of her late aunt Judith alive.
Katz will join more than 1,000 people in the Lustgarten Foundation's sixth annual Westchester Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk April 19 at Rye Playland Park.
Katz's aunt Judith passed away after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer when Katz was only 14. Katz said her aunt was fun, energetic and generous.
"She could turn the simplest things, like going for a swim or sitting on the porch, into a really fun time," Katz said.
Katz has participated in the walk the last three years, along with her team, "Friends for a Cure."
"As I got older, I felt this strong urge to do something, not just to keep her memory alive, but also to help others," Katz said. "I came across The Lustgarten Foundation's Westchester Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk and it has become my way of giving back.
"Friends for a Cure has raised more than $2,500 since it was formed. Katz said when she first started, anytime she received a donation she would start to cry.
"I couldn't believe how generous people were," Katz said. "My friends and family have been tremendously supportive of my efforts for this cause. My mother comes with me every year -- my aunt was her sister -- and of course my friends and family when they can.
Katz said she feels she is making a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer.
"This disease can happen to anyone. It is also hereditary," Katz said. "I want to help make change happen. I know my aunt would be so proud. A lot has happened with research since my aunt has passed, but we need much more funding so that scientists can advance their understanding of pancreatic cancer. I am determined to keep my aunt's memory alive and to help find a cure."
To register and learn more, visit www.curePC.org.
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