Project Purple is a Connecticut-based national nonprofit dedicated to providing financial aid to pancreatic cancer patients and donating research grants to centers with a focus on early detection.
Today, the charity is the No. 1 provider of patient financial aid in the pancreatic cancer space, paying out $100,000 to 152 patients and families in 2018. The nonprofit also donated $1.377 million in research grants last year.
Project Purple started out as a running-focused nonprofit but has since grown to include other fitness activities and events in order to fundraise. This fast-growing charity has come a long way since it was founded in 2010.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder Dino Verrelli first encountered pancreatic cancer when his father was diagnosed with the disease in 2008. Through this experience, Verrelli learned of the heavy financial burden that fighting pancreatic cancer can place on patients and families.
During his father’s fight, Verrelli used running as a positive outlet and a form of meditation. He decided to start Project Purple to provide that positive experience to others, raise money for research, and ease the financial stress of fighting for as many patients and families as possible. Shortly before losing his father in 2011, Verrelli pledged to run 13 half marathons in 13 months and continued to sign up for races long after.
As the charity grows, running remains a focus for Project Purple. In total, Project Purple’s 1,161 runners combined for 13,327 miles in 2018. The organization plans to continue improving by branching out into other fitness fields and events.
With the help of the WPCC community, Project Purple will continue to strive toward a world without pancreatic cancer while demanding better for patients and their families.
If you are interested in fighting back against pancreatic cancer and supporting Project Purple, visit ProjectPurple.org or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.