Lustgarten Foundation Walk brings massive crowd to Jones Beach amid wet weather
The rain didn't dampen spirits at the 22nd annual Lustgarten Foundation Walk for Pancreatic Cancer Research, where more than 1,200 people braved the wet, windy weather at Jones Beach.
The participants came together to raise funds to find a cure for the deadly disease. This year, an estimated 62,000 Americans will receive this devastating diagnosis.
Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S.
Paul Suntup of Long Beach was diagnosed with the disease four years ago.
"I didn't say 'why me, why me.' I said 'This is the cards I've been dealt and now I've got to play the game and do what I have to do to defeat this thing'," Suntup said.
The Lustgarten walk has raised $18 million since its inception 22 years ago.
"We've made progress…but we're still not doing good enough. We need to improve the survival faster," said Dr. Matthew Weiss, of Northwell's Health Cancer Institute.
While the money has helped researchers in their quest to find a cure, the foundation says more work needs to be done.
To date, the Lustgarten Foundation has invested more than $250 million in research.
"The survivor rates since we were founded 25 years ago has more than doubled, but it's still only 11%. And we have to do better, we want to do better," said Linda Tantawi, Lustgarten Foundation CEO.