CROMWELL - One family is turning their personal tragedy into a million dollar fundraising event.
22-year-old Brittany Vose lost her father to pancreatic cancer when she was just five years old.
“We’ve always made my fathers loss a positive memory,” says Vose, who founded the 18 hole stroll. “It’s not that he’s gone, but he’s with us forever and looking over us now.”
She uses the walk to raise money for pancreatic cancer research done by the Lustgarten Foundation. Brittany has raised $500,000. Her family hopes to reach the $1 million dollar mark in the next 5 years.
“It was hard to see my dad go in a quick three weeks and so after that I said this can’t happen to anyone else,” says Vose.
She started this walk around the TPC Highlands golf course when she was 13.
Every year on the last day of the Traveler’s Championship for the past 9 years, more and more people come out to support her cause.
Rose Splcio said “I invite my friends to walk with us and then the frosting on the cake is you get to go see the rest of the tournament which is fabulous,” says Rose Splcio, a five year pancreatic cancer survivor. “Very humbling. I’m so fortunate to be here.”
Only 7% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive. Research at the Lustgarten foundation is partly funded by the money the 18 hole stroll. Scientists use the money to develop new technologies that detect and treat cancer.
“We have a fantastic thing coming out called cancer seek. It’s a blood test that not only detects pancreatic cancer, but seven other cancers as well. That’s going into clinical trials this year and we think within the next two to five years it’ll be on the market and affordable for people to get that test,” says Lustgarten Foundation’s Vice President of development, Linda Gruskiewicz.