Coalition members pose for a group shot. Nearly 50 organizations attended the WPCC meeting this year.

Nearly 50 organizations from across the world convened in Coral Gables, Fla., May 7-9, 2019 for the fourth annual World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition meeting — the largest international assembly of pancreatic cancer patient advocacy groups.

The meeting was inspiring for everyone in attendance with a focus on creating tangible change for the world’s toughest cancer. It served as an enjoyable reunion for Coalition members who had attended before, as well as a chance for new members like Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Gibraltar and Elvin Howard, Sr. Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Foundation to meet other pancreatic cancer organizations for the first time. The meeting emphasized the collaborative nature of the Coalition and the willingness for all the member organizations to work together and push for progress.

“No one is going to get the job done alone,” said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, WPCC chair and president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). “It’s only if we work together that we will accelerate progress…that’s what the Coalition is all about.”

The Coalition meeting served as an opportunity to lead active discussions on many topics including science, research, patient support, clinical trials and raising awareness.

The first day was packed with discussions and presentations highlighting important areas for tackling the disease on a global scale. Coalition members attended a general session focusing on the Science of Pancreatic Cancer: A Global Perspective as well as hands-on workshops. The key areas covered in the workshops included supporting pancreatic cancer patients, understanding clinical trials and media training. Members also heard from winners of Celgene’s ImpactPANC awards. Awardees from 2017 provided an update on their projects which focused on raising awareness of pancreatic cancer. Awardees from last year presented their winning projects and accompanying poster boards on supporting the needs of caregivers in pancreatic cancer.

The second day was focused on member to member engagement, as well as planning for World Pancreatic Cancer Day, which will take place on Nov. 21 this year.

“Sharing best practices and new learning through the WPCC members is crucial to improve patient outcomes in this disease,” said Jenny Isaacson, vice president of strategic partnerships for PanCAN and one of the meeting organizers. “The more we come together and share, the faster we’ll accelerate progress.”

Thank you to our World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition sponsors Celgene, AstraZeneca, Erytech, Novocure, Servier, TriSalus, Halozyme, Ipsen and TYME.


The Ron Foley Foundation, based in Connecticut, USA, was established by Barbara Foley in 2010 in memory of her husband Ron Foley, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2005.


The mission of the Foundation is to alleviate human suffering caused by pancreatic cancer. The Foundation focuses its efforts on three areas: funding scientific research leading to the early diagnosis, improved treatment and ultimately a cure for pancreatic cancer; raising awareness of this terrible disease among medical professionals and the general public; and providing financial aid directly to needy pancreatic cancer patients and their families.

The Foundation provides seed funding for early-stage medical research and sponsors multiple pancreatic cancer health education seminars for the public, as well as lectures and symposia about the disease for medical professionals, students and researchers.

The relationships the Foundation has established through the WPCC have helped efforts to develop a caregivers network. The Foundation is also formalizing a consortium among pancreatic cancer medical professionals and research facilities within Connecticut and surrounding states.

Established in 2012, the Foundation’s “Ron’s Rescue” program addresses the dire financial circumstances of pancreatic cancer patients in New England, New York and New Jersey, who can no longer work while undergoing treatment. Healthcare professionals help identify needy patients and assist them through a streamlined application process. Grants are given to individuals following an expedited review of their application. Speed is critical in getting aid to patients who are often unable to pay rent or afford adequate food, clothing and other life essentials. We encourage WPCC members to contact the Foundation to learn more about the program or for any suggestions to improve Ron’s Rescue. And we ask the WPCC for help in addressing the financial needs of working-class pancreatic cancer patients.

The WPCC is a perfect forum for all of us to share ideas and to work together as we all create opportunities and the HOPE to change the direction of those affected by pancreatic cancer.  The Ron Foley Foundation looks forward to deepening our relationships with members for the invaluable exchange of ideas, procedures and best practices.

For more information about the Ron Foley Foundation, please visit and contact