Dr. Randy Pausch, a Computer Science Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, delivered an incredibly inspirational "Last Lecture" on achieving your childhood dreams that has become a worldwide phenomenon due to its positive themes and Randy's moral authority to deliver it: his almost unbelievable bravery, dignity, and humility in the face of his terminal pancreatic cancer.
Watch The Last Lecture:
Randy lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on 25th July 2008, at the age of 47. He was at home, surrounded by his wife, Jai, and his three children.
Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate and is the most underfunded of all major cancers. It is also the only cancer on which virtually no progress has been made in the past 30 years. 75% of pancreatic cancer patients die within 12 months of the initial diagnosis and less than 5% survive for five years. The only way to change these dismal statistics is to raise as much money as possible for research.
In March of 2008, Randy used his newly found and unintentional celebrity to deliver compelling and heart-rending testimony before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (L-HHS) on behalf of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The message that Randy so eloquently expressed was the urgent need for implementation of The National Plan to Advance Pancreatic Cancer Research, part of the RAISE THE CURE initiative for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, that represents the federal government’s part in making scientific progress in this disease.
Watch Randy's testimony to Congress:
Randy's emotional testimony included acknowledgement that this horrible disease tends to have a genetic link and that he believes significant progress is possible in his children's lifetimes with adequate funding today.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has made a commitment to raise $25 million to fund research over the next three years from private donors. Randy said, “We can beat it if we give a lot of smart people the money to do their jobs”.