Patrick Swayze's Widow Speaks on Capitol Hill Today and Urges Citizens to Call-In
Today, Lisa Niemi Swayze is expected to speak before Congress on behalf of those with pancreatic cancer, the killer of her husband, Patrick Swayze, who died in September 2009. The actor survived almost two years with the deadly cancer, which was a rarity since most people who get this type of cancer die within six months of being diagnosed.
The goal of the bill is to create awareness of pancreatic cancer and have funds invested into research that could hopefully lead to a cure one day. This form of cancer is the fourth leading killer and yet receives very little funding. Niemi Swayze wants to change that. She told the New York Times, “There is nothing like being diagnosed with a cancer as deadly as this one. It is even more heartbreaking how valiantly my husband fought with so little." She added, “Most cancers are championed by survivors ... [but for those with this form of cancer], it is up to loved ones and family and friends to carry the flag for them.”
Niemi Swayze is an actress who starred in her own series called Super Force and also in films like Steel Dawn and One Last Dance, which she also produced, directed, and wrote. It was based on a play that she and her husband won several stage awards for called Without a Dance. The couple considered the story to be their tale of dance and always wanted to make it into a movie. It took a couple of decades, but they finally got it done to critical success in 2003.
Nowadays, Niemi Swayze devotes much of her time to being the spokesperson for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network which involves appearances much like the one she is making today. She has written a book, Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss, and Moving Forward, about her journey with Patrick Swayze as they fought pancreatic cancer, and she also writes a blog
detailing her day to day struggles with living life without her soulmate.
June 26th is also a National Call-In Day, a plea by those supporting the bill and wanting to draw attention to the needs of pancreatic cancer to make a few calls to make their feelings known. Details are available here