The City of Greenwood has turned the Uptown Greenwood purple to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is in November, but Julie Wilkie, assistant to the city manager for the City of Greenwood, said the fountain could not be turned purple because the city Christmas tree was over the fountain. Wilkie said the money for the dye used to color the fountain was raised by members of the South Carolina National Guard, who lost one of their own to the illness several years ago. The fountain will remain purple until about the middle of February, Wilkie said.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 45,000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013. About 38,000 people died from pancreatic cancer in 2013. Those numbers are fairly evenly split between men and women. The rate of pancreatic cancer has been slowly rising over the last decade. Currently, about 1 in 78 people will develop pancreatic cancer in their lifetime.
According to Cancer.gov, pancreatic cancer only represents about 3 percent of new cancer case each year. However, deaths from pancreatic cancer comprise nearly 7 percent of all cancer related deaths. The five-year survival rate for a person diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is only about 6 percent.
Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams believes that, even though Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is normally celebrated in November, it is still necessary to raise awareness for the deadly disease.
“We’re happy to turn the fountain purple now rather than in November,” Adams said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.”