Fundraiser set for Whittles-Johns Hopkins pancreatic cancer foundation

Archbishop Spalding football coach Mike Whittles plans to be on hand Saturday night at Ellie's Place in Millersville for a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research.

The event will kick off at 7 p.m. and will feature door prizes, a silent auction and a 50-50 raffle. Ellie’s will also contribute 10 percent of its profits for the night. All proceeds will benefit the Mike Whittles Johns Hopkins Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Whittles is approaching a year as a survivor of stage four pancreatic cancer and continues to undergo chemotherapy. Last fall, he coached the Cavaliers to a berth in the first MIAA A Conference playoffs while undergoing treatment. His inspiring story was voted the No. 1 high school sports story of 2011 by Varsity Letters readers.

Diagnosed with cancer on Feb. 14 and with pancreatic cancer on Feb. 22, Whittles said only 20 percent survive pancreatic cancer after a stage four diagnosis.

The fundraiser at Ellie’s Place, 8421 Veterans Highway, is open to the public and Whittles invites everyone to come out and help raise funds.

“I intend to be there, but a lot depends on how I feel,” said Whittles, who gets his next chemotherapy treatment Friday.

“I just don’t want to see people have to go through this,” he said. “They ought to be finding it at stage one when, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do for you,’ not at state four when, “Here’s what we hope we can do." It blew my mind when I was told. I’ll never forget. You go from thinking you’ve got it early because they don’t see anything to ’Geez, do I only have a couple of days to live?’”

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