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Walking to cure pancreatic cancer

Helen Williams helped plan the 2006 Boston Pancreatic Research Walk on October 15.

Helen Williams lost her husband to pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. A clinical nurse practitioner and manager of Boston University’s Occupational Health Center, Williams volunteers with the Long Island–based Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research, and this year she has helped plan the foundation’s 2006 Boston Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk.

The walk, which begins at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 15, starts at Carson Beach in South Boston and continues for about three miles. The Lustgarten Foundation also holds walks in New York and Chicago; money raised from the three annual walks funds research on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Williams worked with physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as families affected by pancreatic cancer to help plan the walk. She says that since her husband’s death from pancreatic cancer, grants have increased for research on the disease, which she attributes largely to the Lustgarten Foundation’s fundraising.

“I’m involved in trying to spread the word and give support to families who have lost members of their families to this disease,” she says.

Those interested in participating in the walk can visit the Lustgarten Foundation Web site.