Sheila Sky Kasselman
Sheila Sky Kasselman (Flores Photo Design).

This year’s virtual event will include cutting-edge research updates, a silent auction and ticket raffle, with all proceeds supporting the nonprofit’s mission to fund education and research for pancreatic cancer.

Sky Foundation, a Bloomfield Hills-based nonprofit seeking to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and early detection methods to increase survival rates and save lives, will present its 13th Annual Women’s Event at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 29.

This year’s virtual event will include cutting-edge research updates, a silent auction and ticket raffle, with all proceeds supporting the nonprofit’s mission to fund education and research for pancreatic cancer.

The one-hour livestream will include updates from two Sky-funded researchers, a leading local gastroenterologist and a panel of pancreatic cancer survivors.

Main speakers for the event include Eileen Carpenter, M.D., Ph.D., clinical instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan; Nikki Lytle, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow gene expression, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego; and Eva Alsheik, M.D., gastroenterologist, Henry Ford Health System.

In 2021, more than 60,000 people in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — the third-deadliest cancer. Sheila Sky Kasselman, founder of Sky Foundation and a 13-year pancreatic cancer survivor, knows the realities of the disease all too well. 

Kasselman was first diagnosed in September 2007 and started the foundation in June 2008. A big priority for Kasselman with the foundation and the Women’s Event’s is breaking the stigma of the cancer.

“I felt that it was a silent disease, and it’s not anything to be ashamed of,” Kasselman said. 

“I decided that if I live and I have the ability to think straight, I was going to be the person to talk about pancreatic cancer. I have been doing that for the past 13 years.” 

Each year, the foundation awards seed-money grants to scientists and clinicians around the country who are pursuing research of great promise in the areas of early detection, prevention or treatment. 

Advising Patients

In addition to advocacy and fundraising, Kasselman spends time with newly diagnosed pancreatic cancer patients and works closely with Henry Ford Health System, Karmanos Cancer Institute and the University of Michigan to match patients with the physician that best fits them.

Another goal of Kasselman’s is encouraging people to see a gastroenterologist in general, but especially if they have a certain symptom of pancreatic cancer in hopes of early detection.

“I’m hoping they know that getting to the doctor as soon as possible is a lifesaving situation,” Kasselman said.

Ticket levels for the Women’s Event range from $35-$1,000 and include access to the auction and ticket raffle.

Sponsor opportunities are also available.

To register or for more information, visit the event page at e.givesmart.com/events/kAD/ or the nonprofit’s website at skyfoundationinc.org. 

Previous articleJVS Human Services, Council Re|Sale to Host Free Webinar on How to Prepare for an Interview and Dress for Success
Next articleAnnual Music Shabbat at TKA to Take Place at End of April