It’s been said that it only takes one person to make a difference, but a team to make an impact. Well Christina Walker, leader of the Pancreatic Cancer Purple Team, is doing just that. The passion, dedication and drive she has for her cause can be felt for miles. People are rallying behind her to help her reach her fundraising goal.
Brian Keller, a University of Ottawa MD/PhD student, was introduced to Christina, three years ago during a tour of Dr. John Bell’s lab that was organized by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. Brian was working in the lab at the time trying to develop oncolytic viral therapeutics to treat pancreatic cancer, along with other cancers.
After meeting Christina, hearing her story and seeing how passionate she was, Brian was determined to help the team. He said, “Feeling the positive effects on a day-to-day basis of what the Purple Team does makes it easy to want to support their cause.”
As part of his program, his class collectively selects a charity to support throughout their four years in medical school. Brian, with the help of Christina and classmate, Brandon Budhram, presented the Pancreatic Cancer Purple Team and won the support of their class.
Christina said, “I was thrilled to find out the class had joined the Pancreatic Cancer Purple Team. It was not only for fundraising that I was so happy about, but the opportunity this presented for these 160 future physicians to be talking to their colleagues and their fellow physicians about pancreatic cancer, bringing awareness and the need for more research to be done on this devastating disease.”
Thanks to people like Brian and his classmates, the Pancreatic Cancer Purple Team has raised over $244,000 since its formation 7 years ago. Brian says, “It’s really a grassroots effort with a lot of people doing their part by asking family and friends for their support.”