DeSean Jackson Foundation: Purple Awareness Campaign – Smyth Co. Public Schools


Recently, Joel Pugh, of the Virginia Farm Bureau, Marion, VA, a “Purple Warrior” for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness partnered with the DeSean Jackson Foundation, during November [national Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month] to bring DeSean Jackson’s message of ‘One Team, One Purpose’, a strategic plan to eradicate this dreadful disease, into the Smyth County Public Schools in Northern Virginia.
For the past several years, Pugh had partnered with DeSean Jackson to raise awareness and crucial funding for St. Judes Children’s Hospital to eradicate childhood cancers in memory of Mr. Strong 5K Run/Walk in memory of Thomas Musser. The annual event raised over $67,000 since its inception for St. Judes.
Pugh distributed over 80 DeSean Jackson Foundation wrist bands and spoke to students and parents in an effort to raise Pancreatic Cancer Awareness and stress the importance of getting the word out and using the purple ribbons like Breast Cancer Awareness does with the pink. Several parents had experienced Pancreatic Cancer in their families and applaud DeSean and Gayle Jackson for their advocacy and commitment to eradicating this ‘silent killer’.

Pancreatic Cancer Statistics:

According to the American Cancer Society, Pancreatic Cancer is the number “4” cancer killer in the US and the only one of the four that does not have a known cure. The lack of early detection methods and research continues to slow progress towards a cure. There is no known cure for this deadly disease and over 42,400 people – 116 + per day are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year. In the last 5 years more than 210,000 people have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and over 92% of those individuals have passed away during the first year of their diagnosis. While only 5% of those living past the first year live to the fifth year and 3% of those will succumb to the disease sometime beyond that point. Pancreatic Cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over the last 25 years. Those that make it past the first year have been known to live significantly longer today than those diagnosed before 2006.

Photos from the event, provided by Joel Pugh, with permission for reprint:

Purple Awareness:  Mrs. Christy VanArmun's 3rd grade class

Purple Awareness: Mrs. Christy VanArmun’s 3rd grade class


Purple Awareness:  Mrs. Tessa Poston's 4th grade class

Purple Awareness: Mrs. Tessa Poston’s 4th grade class


ABOUT MARION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – Smyth County Public Public Schools (Title 1 School):
Principal: Kimberly Williams
Address: 188 Star Mountain Drive; Marion, VA 24354

Mission Statement

Marion Elementary School, a safe learning environment, will create “STAR” students who
model positive character traits, while achieving academic excellence by local, state, and
national standards. In partnership with home and community, Marion Elementary School
supports all children in becoming “Stars in the mountains.”
I am Safe.
Against Bullying
Respectful and responsible.
I am a Star in the mountains!