Always Fighting for the Love of My Life

Edward J. Demyan; Pancreatic Cancer Victim; Supported and written by MaryKaye Mackulin, who loved him.
RIP my sweet man ... 1963 - 2011

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and AACR Award Research Grants Totaling More Than $3.4 Million

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and AACR Award Research Grants Totaling More Than $3.4 Million

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and AACR Award Research
Grants Totaling More Than $3.4 Million
CHICAGO — The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the American Association for Cancer Research awarded 14 grants to outstanding scientists throughout the country, supporting their innovative research in the field of pancreatic cancer.

This year’s total funding level of more than $3.4 million represents the largest annual disbursement since the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network introduced the program in 2003.

"Partnering with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is an incredibly satisfying experience. It has given us an opportunity to work with the spectacular professional staff there and has enabled us to help fund the most-promising, cutting-edge pancreatic cancer research to advance the field," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. "These worthy projects have the potential to lead to major breakthroughs that will prevent, detect and treat pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly of all cancers."

In its mission to advance pancreatic cancer research, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has collaborated with the AACR to promote and support outstanding research focused on conquering this dread disease. The goals of the grants program are to build a robust pancreatic cancer research community; to encourage collaboration, information-sharing and innovation; and to expedite scientific and medical breakthroughs for patient benefit.

"We are so impressed by the caliber of these 14 scientists and proud to fund their outstanding research projects. We are looking forward to engaging them with our organization and working together to help accelerate scientific breakthroughs," said Lynn Matrisian, Ph.D., vice president of scientific and medical affairs at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "These grant recipients are joining a strong and dynamic collaborative community of researchers the organization has been developing since 2003 when we launched our grants program. Their findings will undoubtedly move us closer to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s goal of doubling the survival rate of pancreatic cancer by 2020."

The recipients will be honored at a grants reception and dinner during the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, held here March 31 - April 4.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Pathway to Leadership Grants are five-year grants totaling $600,000 each. These grants are designed to support the future leadership of pancreatic cancer research by funding outstanding early-career investigators beginning in their postdoctoral, mentored research positions and continuing through their successful transition to independence. The 2012 recipients are:
  • Stephanie K. Dougan, Ph.D., Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
    "Transnuclear mice: Understanding the T cell response to pancreatic cancer"
    Supported by Celgene Corporation.
  • Oliver G. McDonald, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
    "Genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming during evolution of pancreatic cancer"
    Supported by The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation
The 2012 Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Innovative Grants are intended to promote the development and study of novel ideas and approaches in basic, translational, clinical or epidemiological research that have direct application and relevance to pancreatic cancer. These two-year grants provide $200,000 over the grant term. The 2012 recipients are:
  • David A. Boothman, Ph.D., UT Southwestern Medical Center
    "NQO1-mediated ‘kiss of death’ targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer"
    Supported by the George & June Block Family Foundation
  • Paul J. Chiao, Ph.D., University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    "TAK1 is a novel therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer" Supported in part by the Lefkofsky Family Foundation
  • Channing J. Der, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    "Mechanism of ERK inhibition resistance and ERK-dependent pancreatic cancer"
    Supported by Tempur-Pedic Retailers
  • Peter Espenshade, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    "SREBP pathway as a target for pancreatic cancer therapy"
    Supported in memory of Bonnie L. Tobin
  • Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    "Mechanisms of K-RAS independent growth in pancreatic cancer"
    Supported by Blum-Kovler Foundation
The 2012 Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Career Development Awards are two-year grants of $200,000 that are designed to attract and support early-career scientists as they conduct pancreatic cancer research and establish successful career paths in the field. This year’s recipients are:
  • Jiyoung Ahn, Ph.D., New York University School of Medicine
    "Oral microbiome and pancreatic cancer: A prospective case-control study"
    Supported by The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation
  • Darren R. Carpizo, M.D., Ph.D., University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
    "Pre-clinical studies of a p53 mutant synthetic lethal compound in pancreatic cancer"
    Supported by The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation
  • Eric A. Collisson, M.D., University of California, San Francisco
    "Optimizing MEK inhibition in pancreatic cancer; from cytostatic to cidal"
  • Mikala Egeblad, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
    "Dynamics of tumor-stroma interactions in pancreatic cancer"
    Supported by The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation
  • Kazuki N. Sugahara, M.D., Ph.D., Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
    "Tissue-penetrating drug delivery to desmoplastic pancreatic tumors"
    Supported by The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation
  • David Sung-wen Yu, M.D., Ph.D., Emory University
    "Exploiting the replication stress response in pancreatic cancer"
The 2012 Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Fellowship is a one-year grant of $45,000 designed to support a postdoctoral investigator’s work in pancreatic cancer research. The 2012 recipient is:
  • Florencia McAllister, M.D., Johns Hopkins University
    "Role of inflammatory cells in early pancreatic tumorigenesis"
    Supported in memory of Samuel Stroum
# # #
Tara Yates
American Association for Cancer Research
(215) 446-7110
In Chicago, March 31 - April 4:
(312) 528-8206

Jennifer Reeves
Public Relations Manager
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Direct: 310-706-3362
In Chicago, March 31 - April 3:
(310) 460-8901

Press registration for the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 is free to qualified journalists and public information officers:

About the AACR
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR's membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer.

For more information about the AACR, visit

Follow the AACR on Twitter: @aacr #aacr
Follow the AACR on Facebook:

About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization is leading the way to increase the survival rate for people diagnosed with this devastating disease through a bold initiative — The Vision of Progress: Double the Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rate by 2020. Together, we can know, fight and end pancreatic cancer by intensifying our efforts to heighten awareness, raise funds for comprehensive private research, and advocate for dedicated federal research to advance early diagnostics, better treatments and increase chances of survival.

Click here to meet these grant recipients and learn more about their funded projects.

Follow the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network on Twitter: @pancan
Follow the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network on Facebook:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Seeing Coach Ryan Speak Was Truly Inspiring

Coach Ryan spoke this past weekend at The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's Community Outreach Leadership Training event in Chicago Illinois, which I was PRIVILIGED to be a part of!  Her presence is so dynamic and her hope is infectious....   Here is something from her that I found on another site today and I thought it was worth sharing!  (Hey Virginia - Be Proud - Be Loud!)

Ryan, survivor and former UVa coach, to speak on pancreatic cancer

"Debbie Ryan doesn’t know how she beat pancreatic cancer. Not many do. But now that she has, she’s hoping she can shed light on an atypically deadly disease.

Thursday, the Patients & Friends Steering Committee of the University of Virginia Cancer Center will host a presentation on pancreatic cancer. The lead speaker will be Ryan, the legendary former UVa women’s basketball coach.  “It’s not about beating the odds,” Ryan said. “It’s more about the fact that I was just lucky. I don’t know why I’m still here, and most of my doctors don’t know why. It’s just that it kind of disappeared.”  In most cases, that’s not what happens.

Pancreatic cancer is among the most deadly cancers, killing 94 percent of all patients in the first five years, according to Meredith Gunter of the Patients & Friends Research Fund, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to raising money for cancer research at the University of Virginia. Patients & Friends is hosting the presentation.

“Patients & Friends is offering this program to help inform the community about this disease and about the hope we can find in the work done at UVa,” Gunter wrote in an email.
Pancreatic cancer claimed 38,000 deaths in 2011, according to a statement from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. It’s the only “top ten” most common cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits, and that statistic is nearly the same as it was 40 years ago, according to the statement.  One of the big problems with raising money for pancreatic cancer is the shortage of survivors to “carry the flag,” Ryan said in a phone interview from Chicago, where she was also giving a talk on the subject.

The longtime coach of the UVa women’s basketball team and soon-to-be member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame is an 11-year survivor of the disease.  “I think it’s becoming more and more understood, but it is a disease that we are way behind on,” Ryan said. “Many patients are treated with 1950s drugs. I was treated with 1950s drugs.”  Ryan said she really believes in the cause and strongly supports the work of UVa professors Kim Kelly and Dr. Todd Bauer, who she said are “doing an amazing job at trying to eradicate this horrible disease.” Kelly and Bauer will also speak Thursday.
Short of eradication, she hopes it might be the sort of disease science learns to manage.
Ryan said the disease is of rising importance, because it hits the heavier more often, though it can also kill the thin.  The number of cases is expected to increase by 55 percent in the next 20 years, according to Gunter.  “We put so much money into prostate and breast cancer that we’ve made both of them manageable diseases in some cases,” she said.  Among the casualties to pancreatic cancer, she said, are Steve Jobs of Apple, actor Patrick Swayze, singer Luciano Pavarotti and actress Donna Reed.

The presentation, New Frontiers in Treatment, Detection, and Prevention: Changing the Pancreatic Cancer Paradigm, will take place Thursday at Alumni Hall.  Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. The program will run from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.  Kelly will be presenting on molecular imagining scans as a form of early detection. She is a recipient of a research grant from the PCAN. Bauer will speak about personalized therapies.  The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required. Call 924-8432 or to RSVP.  UVa Imaging is underwriting the event."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day 2012 Registrants

Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day 2012 Registrants

If you read this blog, you know what is most important to me right now!!!!   ADVOCACY...  

We, meaning the Advocates for Pancreatic Cancer Research & Funding, need more advocates to join our fight.  Don't let that person you love, who is fighting or has lost their battle with PC, be in vein....  HELP US FIGHT!  As another courageous man lost his battle this weekend, at the age of 34 no less, how can we not take the hill and fight for funding?!

Won't you come to Washington, DC with us to let the Government know that this disease needs more funding for research, for effective treatment options, for a CURE....   It's OUR TIME, It's OUR Turn.

It's time that PC becomes a priority to our Government - It's time that funding for this cancer gets a piece of the pie... - We Need You! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday MY Love

Today was about you and your precious life... You were in my head and heart all day and so many people sent their love... So many things running through my head and heart, just don't have the energy to put it in words right now... But soon. Happy Birthday MY love... Hope it was awesome where you are. Xoxoxo me

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What is beautiful?

-----Original Message-----

From:   Marykaye Mackulin
Sent:    Wednesday, April 26, 2006 9:09 AM
To:       ED DEMYAN
Subject: Morning Fish

Just wanted to say Good morning handsome. Loved talking last night, and again, no prob getting up, hope the same for you.

xoxoxox mk :)

RE: Morning Fish

Wednesday, April 26, 2006;  9:16 AM
To:      "Marykaye Mackulin"
I just started typing your e-mail address and you beat me to the e-mail again. I love it! Good morning to you also. I had no problem getting up either and was smiling as soon as I awoke. Another beautiful day, beautiful thoughts because of beautiful woman.   Life is GREAT!  You rock my world. (cheesy huh?)  The Carpel Tunnel Suck Fish

This was Ed, he never worried about impressing anyone...   He had a gift of expressing himself so wonderfully and honestly.  He was nothing but pure Goodness from his soul...   His absence is felt every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day...

xoxoxo Baby xoxoxo  me

3/6/2012 Adendum    Shared with me yesterday on Facebook from a friend after I stated how I want Ed to be proud of me if we are fortunate to be together on the otherside...  These are the statements that make me believe in what we had together and that it wasn't just my imagination:

On fb 3/5/2012 from Carole D:
Oh M.K.... please don't ever doubt that he was proud of you....listen to this quote from Ed to me Memorial Day 2011 during our conversation (this was in the garage after the "vasectomy" conversation :)......"just look at her would you, she's the reason, look at that smile it makes me smile, she's beautiful (big grin and a snicker), isn't she something, I love that woman".   Like Nanci said "real love" never dies neither will his words!!!