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Monday, May 2, 2016

Cherokee Youth donates blankets in Grandfather's memory

Friday, November 27, 2009

Allison Van Vactor, age 12, donated these 12 handmade tie-blankets to the Oncology Department at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center. Photo by Dan Whitney
Allison Van Vactor,12, the daughter of Jason and Janelle Van Vactor of Cherokee, spent about six months this year making a dozen "tie-blankets" at home for the express purpose of donating the blankets to the Oncology Department at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and Allison is donating the blankets in memory of her grandfather, Jerry Sorensen, who passed away in October, 2008 from the disease.

Each year in the United States, about 42,470 individuals are diagnosed with this condition and 35,240 die from the disease.

Only cancers of the lung, colon, and breast cause more deaths than pancreatic cancer each year. The prognosis is relatively poor, even when diagnosed early, because it typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it's a leading cause of cancer death. Signs and symptoms may not appear until pancreatic cancer is quite advanced and surgical removal isn't possible, but the recovery rate has improved slightly in recent years.

Allison, who said she would like to be a doctor when she grows up, presented her gift to the CRMC on Wednesday morning. The staff at CRMC was very appreciative and thankful to her on this Thanksgiving Eve, and assured the thoughtful and caring young lady that the patients who use the blankets will be most appreciative as well.

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