On November 15, two concerts were played at the Millennium Carillon in recognition of World Pancreatic Cancer Day.
Those concerts, along with a weeklong illumination of the tower in purple, were meant to draw awareness to this particularly dangerous form of cancer.
“My father was Joseph C. Monastra, so we call it the JCM foundation for short,” said Grace Saunders, president of the JCM Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. “He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and we lost him in a very short period of time. He was gone in four weeks.”
There is no reliable early detection test for pancreatic cancer, its symptoms are easy to mistake for other diseases, and it’s often not caught until stage four.
That makes raising awareness and funds to research reliable early detection really important.
And it’s a cause that touches close to home to Naperville City Carillonneur Tim Sleep, who lost his brother to the disease last year.
“Naperville is an amazing community to work and there’s some really amazing people who feel things with great passion and I’m just glad I can be part of it and we can use the bells and the tower to punctuate what’s going in the community and support everybody that’s here,” said Sleep.
To put together the concerts, he looked for for musical artists and other significant people who died from pancreatic cancer, like Aretha Franklin and Steve Jobs and picked music either they made or they were connected to.
“My hope is that people who were by here, if they know it’s a concert about pancreatic cancer, and if they hear The Munsters or the ringtone, or an opera, they’ll think about how widespread the disease has touched people,” said Sleep.
Sounding the carillon’s bells for a good cause.
Another pancreatic cancer event to watch out for in town is the Lustgarten Foundation’s annual Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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