Rosemary and Grace Takacs - Acton Boxboro
Rosemary and Grace Takacs - Acton-Boxboro
Ninth grader, Rosemary Takacs (14 y.o.) and her 7th grade sister, Grace Takacs (13 y.o.), have been advocating for and raising money for pancreatic cancer research since their father, Jim, was diagnosed 5 years ago just 10 days after his 47th birthday. As with approximately 75% of pancreatic cancer patients, he lost his battle in just 6 1/2 months. Only 6% survive 5 years. The girls were just 8 & 10 years old.
They started raising money at a young age by foregoing birthday presents and asking for donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network instead. This would bring in a few hundred dollars each time. They have also raised money at their schools and been a part of the top fundraising team the past two years at PurpleStride Boston – Team Takacs has raised close to $50,000 and we are at it again for this year’s walk in September.
Additionally, in the summer of 2010, they headed to Washington, DC to meet with our Senators and Representative to educate them on pending legislation that would mandate the National Cancer Institute to develop a strategic plan to address this disease that is the 4th leading cancer killer in our country and is likely to move to the 2nd leading killer in the very near future. That year, the girls, along with other volunteers, spoke in these congressional meetings, educating the legislators about this disease and the pending bill. They went back the next two summers and they have met personally with Sen. Scott Brown and Rep. Nikki Tsongas. After these meetings, both of these delegates co-sponsored the bill. This bill was passed last year, and The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act was signed into law by President Obama this past January.
The girls’ images are a part of the permanent record of this journey and successful outcome and available on the website of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Their story has been chronicled by some local journalists.