Halifax News Net
When Stefanie Condon-Oldreive's 63-year-old father, Craig Condon, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006, she did what most people in this day and age would do - she sat down at her computer and Googled the disease.
"What I quickly discovered was that there was no organization in Canada that was for pancreatic cancer," the West Porters Lake teacher recalls. "However, there were several reputable organization in the United States. These are the organizations that I had to rely on for information about pancreatic cancer.
"Additionally, I found it difficult to find surgeons and researchers in Canada who I could contact to find out information about potential treatments for my father. Essentially what I found for Canadian-based information on pancreatic cancer was extremely limited."
When Craig Condon succumbed to pancreatic cancer only two months after his diagnosis, his daughter made it her mission to raise awareness of this devastating disease that claims the lives of 3,400 of the 3,500 people diagnosed with it in Canada each year.
"As a family, we were shocked that this cancer which has the highest fatality rate could be the cancer that had such minimal awareness and funding - presently less than one per cent - for research," she says.
She founded Craig's Cause, an organization which funds pancreatic cancer research through an annual bike-a-thon and donations. Condon-Oldreive has also created a website (www.craigscause.ca) where patients and families can get information and share stories.
Christine Bergeron of Cole Harbour also lost her father to pancreatic cancer in 2006. She met Condon-Oldrieve through an American site in a chat forum about the disease
"Stefanie and I were both only children and both lost our dads to this beast within a month of each other. When we found out that we live so close to each other, we got in touch," says Bergeron. "I really think that the website she has created is an amazing, Canadian resource."
Both women want to spread the word about the Craig's Cause bike tour event that will be held at Porters Lake Provincial Park on September 27.
"Last year, which was our first year, we had over 100 cyclists turn out for the event," says Condon-Oldreive. "And we raised over $10,000. This year we want to double that!"