Dear Walk With the Dogs Friend:

Happy 2019! It is hard to believe that almost 14 years ago a little grassroots organization called the Jeanenne Thompson Foundation was started to raise awareness and funding for Pancreatic Cancer! In that time we have gained so many Purple Warriors who have joined the Purple Army to bring awareness to this disease. We have raised almost $400,000 in our hometown event. What this grassroots organization has achieved is nothing short of amazing, even when some questioned it in the beginning, and although still small, it is mighty.

The passion for the cause still rings true to our collective hearts, but the task of pulling off a bigger and better event each year becomes increasingly more difficult. The Board of Directors has decided that the 13th Annual Walk With the Dogs held in June 2018 would be the last event in Nashville. There were many variables that were involved in the decision making process. We know the community will miss the streets of Nashville going purple on the first Saturday of June.

When the Jeanenne Thompson Foundation began, the survival rate was 3%. Sadly, the 5 year survival rate is still in the single digits, but has tripled to the current 9%. Great advances have been made and an early detection initiative is in the works spearheaded by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, in part due to the almost $400,000 raised in our little Nashville, Illinois. In 2015, the Founder of Pancreatic Cancer Action Network had to come join us at our 10th Annual Event as she was floored at what our event was raising for PanCan. Our grassroots organization has embodied the quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Our work is not over. Christi Merritt will continue to work at the local level in her town of Lebanon, TN. She will hold the 7th Annual Zumbathon for Pancreatic Cancer there in April. Although the event is not as large as the Walk With the Dogs, it continues to grow and has many community Sponsors there as well, with an annual shirt being made for the event and all proceeds go to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network on behalf of the Jeanenne Thompson Foundation, Inc.

Pancreatic Cancer is near and dear to the hearts of many us. We hope that each of you will consider finding a way to contribute, participate, or sponsor the Zumbathon event so that we can continue to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer research and funding. Names will be continued to be listed on the back of the shirts and know that your money is impacting the fight for Pancreatic Cancer directly! Pancreatic Cancer does not receive the funding other types of cancer receive, so this means we still continue to have an impact by all monies going to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. If you are interested in continuing to be a part of our work as a Sponsor for the event, please reach out to Christi Merritt on Facebook Messenger or email her at Sponsor forms will be going out in February for the April event.

Words cannot express what your support has meant to us over the years! Without our Purple Warriors, this Army would not have been able to make the difference we have in the world of Pancreatic Cancer. We hope that NONE of you will ever stop raising awareness in your own way each and every day. Thank you for all the difference you have helped us make in the fight against Pancreatic Cancer.

With much love, appreciation, and sadness,
The Jeanne Thompson Foundation Board of Directors