About a year ago, Greg Griffith of Hollidaysburg died 18 months after being diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.
During that battle, he, his family and friends organized an effort to find a cure, The weekend of July 27, they gathered for the third year in a row for Griff's Run and Gun, a three day fundraiser.
In the past year, Greg's doctor James Moser has moved to Harvard Medical School to continue his research into pancreas cancer.
He says,"the good news is there are probably two drugs in development which will probably be signifcant. Final trials will be hopefully out in a year."
Joining him in the effort, is 15-year-old Jack Andraka, a Maryland high school student who's developed an early detection test for pancreatic and other cancers.
Jack explains,"basically what I've developed is a novel paper sensor that can detect pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer for less than 3 cents and it takes only five minutes."
Jack won a $75,000 international award for his discovery, expected to be commercially available in five to ten years.
He believes,"it has the potential to revolutionize how we look at the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer because it can also look at how effective a cancer treatment is."
The survival rate for pancreatic cancer hasn't improved substantially in 40 years, largely because it can't be detected early enough. Could new efforts lead to significant change in the next five years?
Dr. Moser is optimistic, saying, "well I certainly hope so, it would be hard to go to work everyday if it wasn't true."
The 2012 Griff event netted $60,000 for pancreatic cancer research. In the 30-months since Greg's diagnosis, area folks have raised $150,000 for the cause