The Pancreatic Cancer Alliance has enlisted once again the support of local businesses, garden centers and community organizations for its Fifth Annual PANSIES FOR PROGRESS. The campaign, which takes place during the month of April, increases awareness of pancreatic cancer as it raises funds for ground-breaking research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. A portion of the sale of pansies from participating garden centers benefits the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at UMass Medical School in Worcester.

A gift of pansies means “I’m thinking of you,” a sentiment echoed by the many Pancreatic Cancer Alliance members and Pansies for Progress participants who have lost loved ones to this devastating disease, the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.  In the past two years alone, Pansies for Progress campaigns have raised more than $16K, with over 3500 plants sold.

Participants and dates for the 2010 Pansies for Progress campaign include:

Millbury Women’s Club
Millbury Town Common
Saturday, April 10, 9am –noon
Advance sales: Mary Lou Mulhane,

Bells Lawn and Garden
201 Southbridge Street, Auburn
Saturday, April 24, 9am – 6pm; & Sunday, April 25, 9:00am – 4:30pm

Bemis Farms Nursery
29 N. Brookfield Road, Spencer
Saturday & Sunday, April 24-25, 8am – 7pm

For more information on the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance, or to find out how a business or organization can participate in the Pansies for Progress campaign, please contact Mary Beth Curnen at Contributions will be submitted to UMass Memorial Foundation/Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, 333 South Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545. The UMass Memorial Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)3 charitable organization.

About the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance
The Pancreatic Cancer Alliance is a local, all-volunteer organization in Central Massachusetts comprised of patients and families affected by pancreatic cancer.  Since its founding in October 2003, the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance has raised more than $700,000 through jazz concerts, golf tournaments, walks and road races, and the sale of pansies and hand-made bracelets.  100% of the money raised by the Alliance supports and advances important research in pancreatic cancer at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.  Funds raised by the PCA have contributed to the purchase of a Xenogen imaging system used in the lab of Dr. Brian Lewis; the support of the first Pancreatic Cancer Alliance Scholar, physician/scientist Dr. Jennifer Tseng; the funding of a pancreatic cancer research fellowship for a UMass surgical resident, Dr. Jessica Simons; and financial support for innovative clinical drug trials currently taking place at UMass.  The Pancreatic Cancer Alliance is committed to helping UMass become a world leader in the treatment and research of pancreatic cancer.  For more information, visit:

About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing more than prostate cancer and nearly as many as breast cancer.  It has the lowest survival rate of any major form of cancer; 95 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer do not survive 5 years.  Pancreatic cancer is rarely detected at an early stage, and the median survival rate is 6 months from diagnosis.  The time for progress is now.  We can make a difference by increasing research to find effective treatments that will give those diagnosed a chance to survive.