Member Highlight: Associazione Nastro Viola

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Associazione Nastro Viola (“Purple Ribbon” Charity) was founded in February 2015 by five people who lost family members to pancreatic cancer.

None of the founding members had ever experienced a disease so devastating or seen their loved ones get sick and worsen so quickly (they survived from one to six months after diagnosis). They decided something had to be done in order to spread awareness. So that is what Associazione Nastro Viola does – raises awareness about symptoms and risk factors in order to promote early diagnosis. They also fundraise to support pancreatic cancer research.

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Associazione Nastro Viola supporters gather for World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2015.

Francesca Mella, vice president of Associazione Nastro Viola, said that they are looking forward to World Pancreatic Cancer Day this year and launching their second annual national awareness campaign this November.

“The campaign is called, ‘Facciamo Luce sul Tumore al Pancreas,’ and we will again request that municipalities across Italy turn public buildings or locations purple. We also aim to get people involved through ‘purple’ events,” she said.

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In addition to awareness campaigns and fundraising events, the organization is currently involved in a national project called “La Salute: un bene da difendere, un diritto da promuovere” (www.salutebenedadifendere.it), focusing on guaranteeing easy access to innovative cancer treatments, clinical trials and early diagnosis for all patients, despite their economic situation. The project is supported by doctors, researchers, Italian charities and politicians who reunite once a year to discuss the project results and plan new activities (the most recent meeting was held in Rome on Sept. 20, 2016).

Mella said that being part of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition gives the organization inspiration regarding future campaigns and events.
“We truly feel that working side by side with others will bring outstanding results in the near future. Our main accomplishment would be to see the number of people diagnosed at an early stage increase over the next year so that more lives can be saved.”