Vigil to honor those with pancreatic cancer

EDISON — Local residents, pancreatic cancer survivors and volunteers with the Northern New Jersey Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will join more than 13,000 people at 80 PurpleLight National Vigil for Hope events taking place in communities across the country Oct. 27 to “turn the country purple,” the color of pancreatic cancer awareness.

The candlelight vigil will kick off National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in November by remembering those who have fought the disease and honoring pancreatic cancer survivors.

“We are proud to be a part of the third annual PurpleLight National Vigil for Hope,” said Todd Cohen, affiliate spokesman and Edison resident. “Many of us in the community have been touched by this insidious disease, and every purple light tells a story. The vigil gives us the opportunity to come together to gain both comfort and encouragement from one another while drawing attention to pancreatic cancer.”

Survivors, families and friends in attendance will be asked to stand while illuminating their purple glow sticks at the time their name or their loved one’s name is read.

The community event, planned entirely by local volunteers, will begin promptly at 6 p.m. and end at 7 p.m., and will take place at Papaianni Park, near the Edison Municipal Complex on Municipal Boulevard.

For more information or to register, visit

Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano, who lost her son-in-law to this disease, is scheduled to join the Northern New Jersey Affiliate and its volunteers at the event.

“We are grateful to have the support of Mayor Ricigliano and so many others who have been afflicted by this disease,” Northern New Jersey Affiliate Coordinator Sandi Field said.

Pancreatic cancer has the lowest five-year survival rate of all major cancers, at just 6 percent. This year, more than 45,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States, and more than 38,000 will die from the disease. Seventy-three percent of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. No early-detection methods exist, and effective treatment options are few.

To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Northern New Jersey Affiliate, visit