By Kayla Carcone
In 2010, shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and with encouragement from her two sons, Claire Muollo organized the first Promises for Purple Pancreatic Cancer Awareness 5K Walk in Braintree, Mass. Since then, the event has raised over $271,000 for pancreatic cancer research at Dana-Farber. Claire passed away in 2014, but her legacy lives on in every advance made and each person clad in purple at the annual walk in November.
“Raising awareness and bringing people together was my mom’s original intention for this walk,” said Robert Muollo, event organizer and Claire’s oldest son. “She’d be proud to know how much her efforts have transformed care, but also how it continues to bring our family together in a meaningful way.”
“Promises for Purple has helped to propel real momentum in early detection and prevention efforts, as our team works to identify biomarkers and increase genetic testing, and I have greatly enjoyed walking with my family at this event for more than 10 years,” said Brian Wolpin, MD, MPH, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center and the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer at Dana-Farber. “The Muollo Family and the event organizers are a special group, and we are extremely appreciative of their dedication to this cause in honor of Claire.”
Claire Muollo embodied faith, positivity, and humor in the face of her obstacles. As a patient, she would “grade” Wolpin at each appointment. Today, with all the tireless work and breakthroughs made in pursuit of a pancreatic cancer-free future, Robert Muollo said, “I know she would give him a very well-deserved A+.”