Previous
Next
Previous
Next

Gary Lorenzen- March 2000

After a nearly nine-month struggle against metastatic pancreatic cancer, Gary Lorenzen passed away. A 1976 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Gary returned there to fly and to teach navigation and physics after receiving his Masters degree in physics at MIT. In 1995, he took command of the 17th Training Support Squadron at Goodfellow Air Force Base. His unit received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and contributed to the 17th Training Wing recognition as the best wing in the Air Force. On August 1, 1999 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was a warrior to the end. Gary had attained the rank of Colonel. At his funeral ceremony, after presentation of the Legion of Merit and medals to his family, he was honored by the Air Force with the missing-man formation jet fly-by and a military gun salute. Gary is survived by his wife Deborah and two sons Grant and Wes. Gary is loved (and missed) by his parents, family, friends and colleagues. His strength, faith and grace were infectious, and have become a part of our lives. In one of the three eulogies given at the memorial service, the following poem was read: Goodbye A sickly man, my uncle I said goodbye sincerely for I might not Say hello to him again With a brave face he will battle the enemy And the enemy will win. -Nathan Lorenzen (12)
A Few Words at Gary’s Funeral
March 16, 2000 I’m Lee Lorenzen, Gary’s younger brother by 5 years. I’ve come here today with my wife Julie and my two sons Matthew and Nathan from our home in Pacific Grove, California. A short 11 months ago, for my 40th birthday, when my parents were still living in Pacific Grove, my wife arranged for my sister Danna from Tennessee and my brothers Jay and Gary from Colorado, to come out for the weekend. This surprise visit and mini-family reunion was a very happy occasion and the first time in several years that my parents, my sister, my brothers and I had been together all at the same time. Photographs from this weekend show a very happy and healthy group of siblings and family members enjoying each other’s company in the warm sunshine of the California coastline. Everyone had a great time of sharing, playing on the beach and laughing together. Although we were at sea level, this time together was an emotional mountaintop experience. Since then, you all know the valley that we have descended into together. From a diagnosis in July, an operation in August, a first wave of chemotherapy starting in September, blood clots in October, a gentler downward slope during the holidays, a steeper decline in the new year, a second attempt at chemotherapy starting a few weeks ago, weight loss, weakness, pain and death. Throughout this downward passage, Gary has been supported by God, by family and by friends. He has amazed and inspired us with His faith and grace. Last year’s Christmas celebration and Gary and my Mom’s birthday on December 23 gave us extra reasons for a bigger family reunion that brought us siblings all together again. I remember especially an evening of singing, praying in the basement and crying together. It was a time of great emotional weight that touched everyone in different ways. One measure of the depth of feelings at this time was a heartfelt, four-line poem my son Nathan wrote for his class after he got back to school in January. He titled it GoodBye. It reads:
A sickly man, my uncle I said goodbye sincerely for I might not say hello to him again With a brave face he will battle the enemy And the enemy will win.
In a way, Nathan was right, he didn’t get a chance to say hello to Gary again and despite Gary’s brave fight the cancer enemy won this battle. So now all my siblings have gathered again. This time we stand more than a mile above sea level in view of Colorado mountain tops but with our spirits sunk lower than the level of Death Valley. Shortly, I will stand on a mountain side and bury my brother. I will weep. Right now Death has a victory, and we feel the sting. The enemy has won. However we have hope, as 1st Corinthians promises, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him. Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” Today, we cry and mourn our loss. As Jesus wept over Lazurus, we weep over Gary. In this valley of the shadow of death we are comforted that we will one day ascend to a new home, have the ultimate family reunion, rejoice in a time when we will all say hello again and “God will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain.” We love you Gary. And, thanks be to God, we will gather again.

Our science board is composed of:

James Abbruzzese, MD Chief, Medical Oncology Duke University

Markus Büchler, MD Chairman, Surgery Heidelberg University, Germany

Ralph Hruban, MD Director, GI / Liver Pathology Johns Hopkins University

Eileen O’Reilly, MD Associate Director for Clinical Research – Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Margaret Tempero, MD Chief, Medical Oncology University of California at San Francisco

Our Philosophy About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a serious disease. Taking an aggressive rational stance at the earliest possible time, supported by the best medical team, and treated in the most appropriate manner gives the best chance for survival.

We believe in strong patient-physician bonds, scientifically-based treatment, and that comfort can come from knowing that everything that reasonably can be done – is being done.

That the best approach is meeting cancer of the pancreas head-on and armed with the best available information.

Facebook Fundraising is Easy!

Creating a Facebook Fundraiser is easy: Click the Link below and Facebook will take you through the steps! Dedicate your Birthday or another important date to honor a loved one.
MAKE IMPACT

SIGN UP FOR THE LATEST NEWS ABOUT PANCREATIC CANCER, WAYS TO HELP, AND MORE!

To Safely make a Donation via Text, Text the Code FIGHTPC to number 44-321

Making IMPACT for Pancreatic Cancer Together!

Join our expanding community on Facebook! Connect with others, share stories, and get support! Click Here

MONTHLY MEMORIAL GIFTS: YOUR TRIBUTE TO A LOVED ONE

Regular giving can be an opportunity to pay tribute in honour of a loved one. Your monthly gift will go directly to promoting awareness, increasing education, furthering pancreatic cancer research aimed at early diagnosis and, helping patients and families impacted by the effects of pancreatic cancer.

Simply select “Monthly” after choosing the amount you would like to give.

Genetic Testing for Pancreatic Cancer

PROPOSED: Every newly diagnosed person with pancreatic cancer (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas) should receive genetic screening prior to beginning treatment – to test for germline genetic mutations in the homologous recombination DNA repair pathway, including genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, and others. These results, in from 12% to 17% of pancreatic cancer patients, suggest that treatment that includes DNA cross-linking agents such as platinum compounds or PARP inhibitors may be superior to standard best practices therapy.


OFFER: Color Genomics offers a 30-gene cancer panel for $224 (normally $249) when the Promotion Code “PANCREATIC” is entered at checkout (price will reduce upon entering this code). This is a physician-ordered saliva kit. Click Here for more information

RATIONALE: The age of precision medicine in pancreatic cancer is approaching … [MORE]

This year an estimated 57,600 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Approximately 47,050 Americans are expected to die from the disease. There are many reasons why the outcome for pancreatic cancer patients is bleaker than for most other cancer types. There are no reliable methods to detect the disease early, and there are very few effective treatment options. Which is why we are so focused on supporting research for early diagnosis.

Together with You our Mission is to promote awareness, increase education, and further pancreatic cancer research aimed at early diagnosis.

Most of our fundraisers, supporters, and volunteers, have been in one way or another, personally effected by this disease. We want to acknowledge what hardships you may have gone through (or are currently facing) and sincerely thank you for visiting our site!

Walk, Run, or Choose your own!

Choose a walk, run, or any other activity that you like and work to raise donations leading up to your Event! Simply set up your participation page and we will be in touch!

DEDICATE YOUR RACE

Already registered for your next Race? Dedicate your participation to Pancreatic Cancer. Simply set up your participation page and together we will work towards our shared mission!

ON FACEBOOK​

Creating a Facebook Fundraiser is easy: Click the Link below and Facebook will take you through the steps! Dedicate your Birthday or another important date to honor a loved one.

CREATE YOUR OWN FUNDRAISER

Create your own fun, choose something you already love to support pancreatic cancer! Simply set up your participation page, include the details of your fundraiser on your page, and get the word out!

Cancer Patients Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Initiatives include, ToFightCancer.com and Pancreatica.org. All Donations are tax-deductible.

Pancreatic cancer is expected to become the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death by the year 2020. There are many reasons why the outcome for pancreatic cancer patients is much bleaker than for most other cancer types. There are no reliable methods to detect the disease early, and there are very few effective treatment options.

There remains a dire need for more research and an increase in focused funding for pancreatic cancer. Your Donation will go directly to promoting awareness, increasing education, and furthering pancreatic cancer research aimed at early diagnosis.

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to help fight pancreatic cancer!
AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. Simply use our Link to start shopping!

Best of the Blog

Speak with a Survivor:

Call 1-800-433-0464 for a free service that will place you in contact with a fellow survivor, or to volunteer to contact someone more recently diagnosed.


Pancreatic Cancer Blog

One of the observations that physicians often made when the standard of care treatment typically consisted of the chemotherapy drug agent of gemcitabine alone, was that many patients with pancreatic cancer (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas) seemed to feel better after the initiation of treatment… More Here

 

Join us on Social Media !

Pay tribute to your Loved one.

Honor a Loved One with a Monthly Gift!