Local woman starts pancreatic cancer support group

We first introduced you to Lora Kelly of Carlisle in 2014 when she was in Washington, D.C. to receive the Courageous Patient Award for her year-long battle against pancreatic cancer. Back then, she told us she would fight to survive and planned on helping others.

“I don’t want to leave my family. I want to do the work that I am called to do on this earth, and right now I feel very strongly that this is a big part of what I am supposed to do,” she said.

Over two years later, Kelly is cancer free and fulfilling the dream she told us about. With the help of a fellow cancer survivor, she has started a support group.

“We’re just meeting and trying to bring joy and positivity and uplifting stories to this journey,” she said.

The group is for pancreatic patients and their caregivers. They meet the second Thursday of every month. More than a dozen people have joined.

“It’s someone to talk to that’s been going through the same thing that I went through. They can understand,” said Jan Kenyon, a pancreatic cancer survivor.

“It was a good idea. Someone has to get the ball rolling. She took it on her shoulders, got things going, so we are moving ahead,” said Bruce Gronkiewicz, a pancreatic cancer survivor.

Kelly didn’t stop there. She is helping the organization that recognized her for her fight against pancreatic cancer.

“I have started the Central Pennsylvania chapter for the National Pancreas Foundation,” she said.

The first local event will feature Dr. Christopher Wolfgang from Johns Hopkins, a world-renowned surgeon who will talk about pancreatic cancer detection and treatment.

The meeting will be held at Dr. Reninger’s office in Camp Hill. He also treats patients with pancreatic cancer

“What were trying to do is just raise awareness about seeking out experts who specialize in pancreas cancer, not just for their expertise but for the institutions expertise as well,” said Dr. Chip Reninger of Hematology/Oncology Consultants of Pennsylvania.

Kelly hopes spreading the word about this deadly disease will help save others.

“It does not have to be bleak. It does not have to be terrifying. Nobody needs to traverse this alone,” she said.

The event will be held Monday, Jan. 25 from 5:30-7 p.m at Hematology Oncology Consultants of Pennsylvania on Erford Road in Camp Hill. Please RSVP to Lora Kelly at 717-440-1706. The support group will also meet right after the event.

On the Web: National Pancreas Foundation Central PA

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