Football fields across Australia are set to be turned purple to raise awareness for a disease that is now the third most common cancer killer in Australia this year.
During the month of June, football players from clubs and codes across the nation will be pulling on their purple socks to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer in the #PlayinPurple campaign. The initiative welcomes players and clubs from all codes of football and is in its 7th year, continuing to grow since inception with a record 7800 players wearing purple socks to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer in 2020.
Isabella Di Manno started the campaign in 2015 after the sudden death of her fiancée’s mother to the disease. Her family had always been very involved in football, and Isabella saw this as the perfect way to raise awareness and critical funds into research, improving diagnosis and treatment. “The campaign continues to grow from strength to strength each year, drawing much needed attention to pancreatic cancer. It’s wonderful to see the participation grow across clubs, codes and regions and reading the testimonials and talking to players, it’s clear the campaign unites communities through active participation and acts as a positive talking point between people who might not necessarily know the outcomes of pancreatic cancer,” Isabella said.
Pancreatic cancer is projected to claim more lives than breast cancer and prostate cancer, and each year almost 4,000 people will be diagnosed with approximately 80 per cent of patients diagnosed will die within 12 months. The disease has the lowest survival rates of all main cancer types, yet, despite these figures, pancreatic cancer trails behind other cancers when it comes to funding for research, receiving less than 8 per cent of the funding available
PanKind CEO, Michelle Stewart said, “We are excited to see playing fields Australia-wide turning purple again for pancreatic cancer, and awareness on this scale is exactly what we need to help shine a light on this disease”. Michelle continued, “this campaign is a wonderful opportunity to increase engagement between clubs, players and the community, all participating for a very important cause – pancreatic cancer awareness. The support across Australia continues to grow with high profile sporting organisations getting onboard, and for that we are incredibly thankful.”
The campaign has seen fantastic growth due to the ongoing support from both Football NSW and Football West and this year Capital Football also joins to create a national footprint. High-profile associations Manly Warringah Football Association (MWFA) and Sutherland Shire Football Association (SSFA) were the two biggest contributors with number of participating clubs. A-League clubs Sydney FC, Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers will be endorsing #PlayinPurple, sharing key campaign messages to their fans and offering incentives to high participating clubs.
Stuart Hodge, Football NSW CEO, said “Football NSW are very proud to again be supporting such a wonderful community initiative, combining the wonderful code of football with truly ground-breaking campaigns such as #PlayinPurple. We kindly encourage our amazing football family to do their bit in getting behind this quality initiative and we cannot wait to see the code decked out in Purple to show their support for this wonderful cause in the fight against pancreatic cancer.”
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