Wings of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Research past event.
The first WINGS OF HOPE benefit took place October 22nd, 2011 at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. The event, organized by former Castle Pines Mayor Maureen Shul and sponsored by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, was to help raise awareness and research funding for pancreatic cancer.
Featured speaker at the aviation-themed gala was Maureen's brother, SR-71 Pilot Brian Shul, author of the acclaimed "Sled Driver." Brian shared his inspiring story of being shot down in Vietnam, hospitalized for injuries sustained for nearly two years, only to come back to pilot the top-secret Blackbird, the world's fastest and highest flying aircraft ever built.
Maureen Shul organized the WINGS OF HOPE benefit in honor of her mother and brother, Victor, both of whom died of pancreatic cancer.
It was just months after losing her brother that Maureen's mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, this in addition to the Alzheimer's disease she had been diagnosed with eight years earlier. Blanche Shul passed away from pancreatic cancer three months after being diagnosed, never aware that her son had succumbed to the disease months earlier.
Propelled by grief and a desire to honor her brother and mother, Maureen's goal for WINGS OF HOPE was to help raise awareness and research dollars for pancreatic cancer. "My family was stunned as to how little there was in the way of early diagnostic testing for pancreatic cancer," Shul states. "Just as shocking, the five-year survival rate has remained at just six percent for the last 40 years." Despite no early detection tools, no effective treatments and no cure, just two percent of the National Cancer Institute's federal research funding is allocated to pancreatic cancer.
"My desire is that WINGS OF HOPE will raise awareness as well as research funding to mount a viable assault on the disease," Shul states. "When you suffer through losses this profound you are compelled to do something to honor your loved ones in ways that will hopefully result in more awareness and resources to help the many others whose lives have been or will be impacted by this horrific disease."
JOIN THE EFFORT…BE A PART OF THE POSSIBLE, BE THE HOPE.