On Sunday, October 26, PurpleLight Detroit will gather at the Detroit Public Library for an evening “to celebrate survivors and honor loved ones lost to pancreatic cancer” at 6:00 p.m.. This organization pursues its mission by facilitating public events for survivors, family, and friends who have been affected by pancreatic cancer. It creates safe and open spaces for their stories and for their reflections.
As October draws closer to its end, it is the time when many in the Pagan community begin the litanies for the year’s Beloved and Mighty Dead. Names are added to lists and rosters so that they may be spoken aloud and honored in sacred space. Ancestral altars are erected, and family stories are told around the fires as the nights grow longer. Those who are missing leave a hole in our hearts.
In the Pagan community, the passing of Donald Michael Kraig was a serious blow to many of us. His diagnosis, fight, and eventual passing from this very disease was quite a shock and a tragedy. It is with certainty that his name must be read, and this writer urges all those who are in the readership of this column, wherever you are, to submit the names of those who have been affected. It does not matter a persons social stature, whether they touched a million lives or one, they are one of the collective human “us”.
However, the PurpleLight events are not only for those who have survived the loss of a loved one, but also for the success stories among them. It is for those who are still here and are fighting. So when those names are read, fighters can also stand among those who have beaten back the Darkness another day. Primarily, the event also spreads awareness of pancreatic cancer among the greater community so that this struggle is not forgotten.
If you attend, you can expect an assembly of love and support for those who are coping with the disease, advocates for medical advancement, as well as mourners and familial survivors. As each name is read of one who has died, a purple glow stick illuminated for them. This is in memory of them. So, yes, there will be a litany in the form of the Name-Reading Ceremony. If you have a loved one who has been affected by this disease and has passed on, then you can honor them at this event. If you cannot attend but wish their name read, you can send the information to their web form here.
While the library itself is located at 5201 Woodward Ave, the group will assemble on Cass street, next to the Library. Keep in mind that this is an outdoor event with no public restrooms. Also, unless it is a service animal, no dogs are allowed.
Those who are able may donate to the foundation itself.
- $11 can obtain diagnosed patient with free educational materials
- $32 can provide one-on-one support to someone facing pancreatic cancer.
- $48 can be used to support a local volunteer affiliate’s ability to fight pancreatic cancer today
- any amount can help
This is a good day to make a difference. This is a good day to be alive. And it is a good day to remember those who are no longer here with us by sharing our day with them.