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In December of 1993, after a year of diagnostic testing for various ailments, my husband, Nathan Arenson, was finally diagnosed as having pancreatic cancer. The surgeon, at that time, gave Nathan three months to live. Despite the universal knowledge that death is the ultimate outcome of life, acceptance on a personal level comes with great difficulty. Nathan was the kind of person who would never resign himself to the inevitable; not without a fight. He shrugged off the debilitating effects of chemotherapy and radiation and lived his remaining time to the fullest his body would allow. Nathan’s pride in his children’s success and the joy his grandchildren brought him would not allow him to quit. They adored him. And why not? The three month prognosis given became eighteen months during which he spent as much time with his family as possible. Despite his deteriorating health, Nathan, just by his strength of will, joined his two sons in Baltimore for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The following April, he traveled to California to see our newest grandson, Bryce. In May, he walked our daughter, Gwen, down the aisle and gave her away at her wedding. In October, one of his proudest moments was to watch our oldest grandson, David, be Bar Mitzvah. In January, the whole family gathered together in Miami for the Super Bowl XXIX and all the activities connected with it. We went out to dinner, visited friends and even to the racetrack there. When asked how he felt, he would always respond, “Great!” His love of life would not allow him to say otherwise.

Nathan passed away on May 31, 1995, a victim of a disease that for now spares no one. But his passion for life inspired his family and gave us all a new realization how precious life really is. This led to the creation of the Nathan S. Arenson Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research. It is hoped that continuing research will find the way to diagnose and conquer this dreaded disease. We hope that all funds we are able to raise will bring this day a little closer so other families will not have to sustain the loss that we suffered.

Shakespeare said of Macbeth, “Nothing is his life became him like the leaving of it.” The same might be said of Nathan Arenson.

Click Here to View The Status of The Research in Pancreatic Cancer