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Pirates help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer

Amid a sea of fans dressed in black and gold, there was a hint of purple above the Clemente Wall at PNC Park on Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN) teamed up for what was the first of four special games to raise awareness for those affected by pancreatic cancer throughout the region.

Fans were able to purchase an outfield box, outfield reserved or grandstand ticket to Sunday’s game against the Royals, with $5 of those proceeds given back to PANCAN.

The organization's mission is to raise as much money as possible to fund cancer research. It also advocates for more federal funding to aid in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Don Furko, a native of Plum, Pa., hopes the stand placed behind left field can help spread the word.

"The one thing I hope for is that we just get the word out about pancreatic cancer because most people aren’t aware of it,” said Furko. “Some people don’t even know what the pancreas does. We had about 150 people attend the game today and raised $660 dollars for a great cause.”

There are three remaining games on the 2012 schedule to show your support: July 24 vs. Chicago Cubs, Aug. 26 vs. Milwaukee Brewers and Sept. 19 vs. Milwaukee.

-- Deborah Hilton

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