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June 03, 2017 09:20 PM

First Purple Stride Event In Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, SD

Pancreatic cancer is one the nation's deadliest cancers. According to the pancreatic cancer action network, the disease has a survival rate of just 9 percent within 5 years of diagnosis.

Dressed in signature purple, more than 500 people came to Cherry Rock Park to "wage hope" against pancreatic cancer.

Peggy Kessler is a two time survivor of the illness. Now, she's fighting the battle for a third time. 

“The story in short is, back in 2001 I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer metastasized to my liver. I was given two months to live and sent home... December of 2015 the spot was back,” Kessler said.

Family and friends are taking on this path for people like her. It's the first ever Purple Stride event in South Dakota's largest city.

Cancer survivor Kari Stormo-Dolge is thankful she's healthy enough to be among the runners and walkers.

"I'm thrilled! I've gone to the Minneapolis one twice but it's wonderful to be able to do it right here in Sioux Falls,” Stormo-Dolge said.

It's been in the works since 2009. Pancreatic Action Network's Lori Murray helped bring it here.

"Once you're diagnosed, and you find out that survival rate is so small, you begin to wonder if there are people around in the area that you can talk to. This is a great opportunity to bring these families and survivors together,” Murray said.

While today is just a start, Stormo-Dolge and Kessler are looking on to the event's future.

“I think we need to make awareness so there's more research dollars so that we can find it sooner and fix it sooner,” Stormo-Dolge said.

"I just hope it continues to grow in grow so we can have better awareness for Pancreatic Cancer,” Kessler said.  

Just over $56,000 was raised to help fight against pancreatic cancer.  

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