Philanthropy in Phocus

Friday, April 2, 2021
Facebook Live Video from 2021/04/02 - Vibrant... Project Purple

Facebook Live Video from 2021/04/02 - Vibrant... Project Purple


2021/04/02 - Vibrant... Project Purple

[NEW EPISODE] Vibrant... Project Purple

Project Purple was founded in 2010: Has become one of the top grossing charities in the pancreatic space in the world Leader for the last three years in the NYC Marathon in terms of fundraising, consistently in the top 10 out of 300+ charities Research portfolio is over 2 million dollars invested since inception We have become the nation’s leading provider of patient aid to families fighting pancreatic cancer the last two years. In 2019 we launched the PRECEDE Consortium which will become the world’s largest early detection consortium for high-risk families.

Dino Verrelli was born and raised in Bridgeport Connecticut and has lived in Connecticut the majority of his life. Dino has been at the helm of Project Purple since its inception in 2010 founding the organization and today is the current Chief Executive Officer. He enjoys running, cross-fit and spending time with his family in his free time. Dino received a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Roger Williams University in Bristol Rhode Island.

Tune in for this sensible conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Tommy introduces the show and talks about connecting non-profit organizations, he believes that these organizations are underrepresented, unrecognized, underfunded, and overlooked. Tommy and his special guest today are here to amplify the message and get nonprofits connected. Tommy then explains how he met today's special guest; Dino Verrelli was born and raised in Bridgeport Connecticut and has lived in Connecticut the majority of his life. Dino has been at the helm of Project Purple since its inception in 2010 founding the organization and today is the current Chief Executive Officer. Project Purple is a Connecticut based nonprofit organization that was created to support and aid patients as well as families who have been affected by pancreatic cancer, and fund research efforts to help defeat pancreatic cancer. Dino begins by talking about what inspired him to start a nonprofit organization that aids families who are fighting pancreatic cancer. Dino details a personal story of his family's history with cancer and how it was extremely heartbreaking. Dino further talks about his fathers fight with cancer and how he is awe of how healthy his father was and yet he was still burdened with this heartbreaking illness. Dino explains that cancer was not foreign to his family, but this situation was forreign for him - and his dad fought it.

Segment 2

Tommy begins by listing data and statistics on pancreatic cancer in the US and states the amount of people that die each year because of pancreatic cancer. Dino further explains that after his fathers second diagnosis there was not as much momentum due to many added issues including the economic environment. Dino stressed during the show that in 2008 due to all this stress he needed an outlet and he began to run, he wasn't fond of running till that day. This process began to open up his mind and he wanted to find more reasons to run as an outlet. He further explains an interaction with another cancer patient, who was in a different situation and was not as economically and Dino realized how little awareness there was and how there was even less funding. This whole process began as Dino combined his passion for running, his love for entrepreneurship and his passion for helping who have been burdened by the same illness that his family has had. 

Segment 3

Tommy begins this segment by asking Dino about the process and structure after deciding the ‘running’ was the method behind the madness. Dino describes how the entire process evolved by him getting a call to run the Boston marathon 7 days before the big event - in the beginning he was indecisive as he had never ran more than 13 miles in his life but after being pushed by his wife to do it, he ran it. Dino went into the marathon with a head full of optimism, he was running it for his father and for the cause Project Purple. This experience pushed Project Purple to grow by competing in more marathons like the Chicago Marathon. Project Purples services include providing financial support to help fight Cancer, as Cancer does not stop because of the pandemic, because of old age and Project Purple is there to help them make sure that people aren't stressing over financing while fighting this debilitating illness. According to Dino people should focus on themselves and not about paying the bills.

Segment 4

Dino begins by talking about how there is no early detection test for pancreatic cancer and most patients are diagnosed stage three or greater. Based out of Seymore, Connecticut Project Purple launched a treatment that can help build a road map to fight the disease - and this road map is not there for pancreatic cancer but is there for other types of cancers. Tommy closes out the show and tells the audience how to get connected to Girls Inc, and queues Always Freyday.


00:00:26.340 --> 00:00:36.360 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Now it's Friday morning, it is just about 10am Eastern standard time and it's your boy the nonprofit sector connect away for the nonprofit sector connector.

00:00:37.170 --> 00:00:45.510 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Your boy Tommy coming at you from the attic just below the roof right above the second floor you know that's where I have been 13 months strong in the attic.

00:00:46.290 --> 00:00:52.110 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And every single Friday morning I can't believe how quick the weeks ago last week feels like it was yesterday that I was just doing this here.

00:00:52.440 --> 00:00:55.410 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: When bed one bird came for a visit niantic from industry for good.

00:00:55.800 --> 00:01:02.490 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: This week i'm wearing purple so if you're only listening you don't get to see all the purple i'm wearing today my buddy Dino rallies wearing purple.

00:01:02.730 --> 00:01:10.860 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: we're here to talk about project purple and i'm going to tell you all about that in a second, but let me tell you about philanthropy and focus, why do I do this.

00:01:11.460 --> 00:01:15.690 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Well, if you've ever checked in or if you know me in the real world outside of the podcast world.

00:01:15.930 --> 00:01:24.420 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Then you know how passionate I am about the nonprofit sector, I am fired up for this sector, I feel that, unfortunately, this sector has gone unrecognized.

00:01:24.690 --> 00:01:29.430 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: overlooked and as most of us know oftentimes underfunded, and my answer that.

00:01:29.760 --> 00:01:40.350 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: My answer is philanthropy and focus why because I want to amplify the messages of these organizations so with the REACH that I have, I want to give these folks a platform to tell their story.

00:01:40.650 --> 00:01:44.700 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And that will be that ripple effect that we talked about i'm sure we'll talk a bit about ripple effect today.

00:01:44.970 --> 00:01:54.540 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So before we even get started in the program I want to just read a quick bio on a new friend of mine, let me tell you guys about networking right i'm the nonprofit sector connector right.

00:01:55.200 --> 00:02:03.390 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I met Dino rally because somebody I said hey i'm looking to meet nonprofits to help them amplify their message, so a friend of ours Deborah shames.

00:02:03.660 --> 00:02:10.740 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: introduced me to Dino email Deborah shout out hope you're listening thanks, so much so i'm going to read you know i'll tell you a little bit.

00:02:11.040 --> 00:02:16.590 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: about his story he's going to tell you a story to tell you a little bit about the organization before we even get started so Dean over le.

00:02:16.830 --> 00:02:21.150 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: was born and raised in bridgeport Connecticut and is living in Connecticut the majority of his life.

00:02:21.570 --> 00:02:30.720 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: he's been at the helm of project purple since its inception in 2010 founding the organization and today, acts as the organizations current chief executive officer.

00:02:31.050 --> 00:02:35.790 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: He enjoys running crossfit and spending time with his family and his free time and he received his bachelor.

00:02:36.240 --> 00:02:41.460 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: of arts in marketing from Roger Williams University in Bristol Rhode island.

00:02:41.880 --> 00:02:50.070 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Prior to this, he had a successful career in the insurance business which i'm sure we'll talk about and some personal achievements, you can you definitely beat me on these for sure Dino.

00:02:50.490 --> 00:03:07.170 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: finished 10 full marathons completed three full marathons in 21 days in 2014 that sounds like a bit of torture, while to figure out what that's all about and 30 half marathons and is the 2017 Roger Williams alumni award winner, which is given out.

00:03:08.310 --> 00:03:18.450 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: For two outstanding work to an alumnus athlete so Dino i'm fired up to have you here we'll do more read more about the bio in the background, as we start seeing his conversation a little bit about project purple.

00:03:18.690 --> 00:03:27.780 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: That was one thing I wanted to read before you even say hello project purple is a Connecticut based 501 C three nonprofit organization created to raise awareness.

00:03:28.230 --> 00:03:34.530 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Support patients and families affected by the disease of pancreatic cancer and fund research efforts to defeat.

00:03:35.310 --> 00:03:39.000 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: pancreatic cancer I love that we're gonna defeat this thing, so do you know.

00:03:39.510 --> 00:03:44.790 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: you're, on the other side of the long island sound, I appreciate your swimming over here to the attic so good to have you here brother.

00:03:45.000 --> 00:03:51.630 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I mean listen, I feel like I know you for a long time, like we spoke this week, we spoke a couple weeks back, how are you man good morning and welcome to the show.

00:03:52.470 --> 00:04:02.970 Project Purple: tomi D thanks for having me I really appreciate the opportunity to share my story and the story of project purple i'm doing great it's Good Friday what's not to be good about Friday.

00:04:03.630 --> 00:04:15.360 Project Purple: ran This morning we got some snow last night here in Connecticut it's going to be gone some frost and snow on the on the roof, and also on the grass, but it's a great day.

00:04:15.900 --> 00:04:24.510 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: awesome and it's going to be a great day i'm glad you're here and it's obviously a special day in in both the Judeo Christian calendars you know with Passover and Easter and whole thing so.

00:04:25.020 --> 00:04:28.380 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: la spring is here rebirth I don't know what's going on that you're getting snow.

00:04:28.680 --> 00:04:36.870 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: that's not a good luck man keep it on your side of the sound we don't need it here it's cold enough in the attic I might have to start putting my thermals back on but that's a story for another day.

00:04:37.290 --> 00:04:44.100 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Alright, so let's let's jump into this man, I mean i'm going to read a little bit about the organization, but I want you to fill in the story, I want you to tell me.

00:04:44.490 --> 00:04:47.880 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: You know there's obviously a family situation here that you're going to.

00:04:48.540 --> 00:04:58.110 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: treat us to really expose us to the story about how this happened and and what you know what to draw was for you to create this organization, the organization was founded in 2010.

00:04:58.500 --> 00:05:06.030 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: has become one of the top grossing charities in the pancreatic space in the world and the leader in the last three years.

00:05:06.420 --> 00:05:17.460 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: In the New York City marathon in terms of fundraising the top 10 out of 300 plus charities now the marathon is a big deal for charities, in fact, I was talking to somebody who would like me to support what he's doing with running for lls this year.

00:05:19.980 --> 00:05:23.490 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Research portfolio of over $2 million, and since inception.

00:05:23.970 --> 00:05:32.490 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And the nation's leading provider to patient aid for families fighting pancreatic cancer over the last few years and we'll talk about this later on, because I want to know about the pre seed.

00:05:32.820 --> 00:05:45.300 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: consortium, which is really around early detection, so we got a lot to do let's jump right into it, where this tell tell us the story, you know I know a bit about the story, but how did you end up founding an organization around pancreatic cancer.

00:05:46.350 --> 00:06:00.870 Project Purple: yeah so it really comes personal for me my dad was diagnosed with at the time, you know the doctors told us like Stage one stage two pancreatic cancer December of 2008 and cancer in my family.

00:06:01.620 --> 00:06:10.800 Project Purple: Was common, quite honestly, my grandfather had died of colon cancer my mom at the time was a breast cancer survivor my mom sister my aunt.

00:06:11.490 --> 00:06:19.260 Project Purple: Had battled breast cancer back in like the MID 90s, and had a really bad case so cancer to us wasn't foreign.

00:06:19.830 --> 00:06:27.600 Project Purple: We were we were kind of becoming used to it, I guess, I don't think anyone ever gets used to it, but it wasn't like something a path that we didn't go down.

00:06:28.200 --> 00:06:36.300 Project Purple: The difference this time was pancreatic cancer, and you know nationally, when my dad gets diagnosed my dad was like a fit guy like my parents are immigrants my dad.

00:06:36.600 --> 00:06:46.440 Project Purple: My mom i'm first generation Italian so you know it's a typical immigrant story they come to this country with nothing they land in New York, they end up in Connecticut and raise a family my dad was a Labor.

00:06:46.740 --> 00:06:58.950 Project Purple: He had a garden my parents didn't go out and get takeout like everything they made was from you know the garden, or you know they you know now the craze is all about organic like we were eating organic back in the 80s right.

00:06:59.700 --> 00:07:08.670 Project Purple: Like we did you know my parents, you know they just they just ate off the land, and so my dad lead a healthy lifestyle wasn't working out, but he was a Labor he was.

00:07:08.910 --> 00:07:19.740 Project Purple: You know, probably burning 5000 calories a week, if not more just from like doing his activities of you know what he did he probably burn out a day, quite honestly, so he was just like you know.

00:07:20.520 --> 00:07:31.140 Project Purple: Living his life, he retired when he became 62 but he was still kind of active still helping guys out he just loved to be in that business and so.

00:07:31.650 --> 00:07:42.060 Project Purple: When he turned 68 he started to have some health problems, and you know, he was diagnosed in December, but really I think he was misdiagnosed for about six months.

00:07:42.330 --> 00:07:47.280 Project Purple: Like he was having like really abdominal pain and my dad wasn't a big guy again he was a fit guy.

00:07:48.120 --> 00:07:58.020 Project Purple: He was about five foot five five foot six wasn't heavy and you know he started to have like abdominal pain lower back pain, he had some GI issues.

00:07:58.320 --> 00:08:01.830 Project Purple: And I you know I look back in hindsight, is always 2020 right and.

00:08:02.160 --> 00:08:10.740 Project Purple: You know you look back and probably for about six to eight months so really like all of 2008 we were trying to like figure out like what the hell's going on with my dad and like.

00:08:10.980 --> 00:08:19.170 Project Purple: They removed his gallbladder then another doctor said, well, you had gout and then, finally, it became this diagnosis in December of a wait like hey you have pancreatic cancer.

00:08:19.650 --> 00:08:29.850 Project Purple: Now it was as much of a shock, as it was he was a surgical he was eligible for a surgery, and so there's there's only a handful of surgeries there's really only three.

00:08:30.390 --> 00:08:41.280 Project Purple: The one main one was called a whipple so my dad was a whipple candidate, only one in five, believe it or not, that are diagnosed even today are whipple eligible.

00:08:41.760 --> 00:08:56.790 Project Purple: it's a big surgery, it can run anywhere between eight hours and i've heard is as long as like 12 hours so long surgery, and before we go into that and this kind of explains this i'm gonna ask you a question Tommy Do you know where the where does the pancreas sit.

00:08:57.060 --> 00:09:07.200 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So you know what you know why I know because I knew I was talking to you today, and I was, I was having a physical yesterday yeah I was talking about pancreatic cancer, with the PA right here my neighborhood.

00:09:07.590 --> 00:09:15.570 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And he's right here is that right, like in your sternum like below your ribs might Am I right like middle aged like military a chest with your belly.

00:09:17.250 --> 00:09:18.870 Project Purple: Your close, but so.

00:09:19.860 --> 00:09:20.580 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: the middle of my.

00:09:21.780 --> 00:09:26.670 Project Purple: middle the middle of your chest, but it practically said it's almost on the spine.

00:09:27.000 --> 00:09:28.320 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: also put on the back.

00:09:28.530 --> 00:09:30.600 Project Purple: On the backside yeah so that's what the when.

00:09:30.840 --> 00:09:41.490 Project Purple: You know, when we talk about early detection which we'll get into but you know to stay relevant here with the surgery so think about it, not to get really graphic or I know it's early in the morning you don't want to ruin anyone's breakfast but.

00:09:41.790 --> 00:09:50.070 Project Purple: You know when they do the surgery there's a large incision I mean they do do some now robotic, but a lot of people still like the traditional way of just you know, cutting.

00:09:50.370 --> 00:09:58.050 Project Purple: So it's a large incision and then you have to get to the back area, so you have to go through the stomach the duodenum.

00:09:58.260 --> 00:10:05.730 Project Purple: The liver like there's all these organs that have to kind of be moved out of the way the intestines right to get to the pancreas.

00:10:06.000 --> 00:10:12.030 Project Purple: And so that's really the challenge from a diagnostic standpoint, but then also clearly here from a surgical standpoint.

00:10:12.270 --> 00:10:18.270 Project Purple: there's a lot of stuff that got to get moved out of the way, so when when we say like it's an eight to 12 hour surgery.

00:10:18.600 --> 00:10:30.060 Project Purple: You know it's not like someone you know and i'm not trying to be too graphic here, but like you know they just don't go in there with a pair of forceps spread everything apart and then get to there you know there's a lot of intricacies there's it's a very delicate surgery.

00:10:30.510 --> 00:10:42.900 Project Purple: An operation so and, naturally, there could be a lot of complications right because you're moving oregon's around you gotta take them out so going back to my dad he has the whipple.

00:10:43.920 --> 00:10:46.230 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: He did get the procedure you get the he gets the whipple.

00:10:46.350 --> 00:10:48.510 Project Purple: I think his whipple was like 10 hours.

00:10:48.930 --> 00:11:01.560 Project Purple: Because what the whipple does also is so in any cancer surgery they marginalize and I draw like a circle right, so they take if the cancers in the middle, they have to take all the surrounding tissue like they call it within margin.

00:11:01.800 --> 00:11:09.540 Project Purple: To make sure that the cancer hasn't spread right and a lot of times your cancer surgery they go to the left, because the lymphatic system right is like the network it's the highway.

00:11:09.930 --> 00:11:20.400 Project Purple: So they go and get lymph nodes the closest lymph nodes around the disease so for my dad what they do is so if you think about the pancreas it's this kind of.

00:11:21.120 --> 00:11:25.350 Project Purple: kind of looks like it looks like a long sponge it's kind of funky looking.

00:11:25.830 --> 00:11:33.960 Project Purple: But it has a couple arteries it's got a couple docs it connects to the bile duct it connects to the gallbladder connects to the liver so for my dad.

00:11:34.530 --> 00:11:43.590 Project Purple: They had to reconstruct a doctor that fed into his bile duct so there was you know a little bit longer complicated surgery the normal.

00:11:44.220 --> 00:11:51.180 Project Purple: And that sometimes happens on depending on where the tumor sits and typically with and not to get too technical but.

00:11:51.660 --> 00:12:01.710 Project Purple: tumors can be in the head of the pancreas in the tail of the pancreas or in the middle of the pancreas and the complexity of the surgery is determined by where that tumor is.

00:12:01.740 --> 00:12:04.110 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: an egg do they know going into you know typically.

00:12:04.350 --> 00:12:15.330 Project Purple: yeah they do, they do that on MRI they see that on on CT scans so but depending on where that is determines how complex that surgery can become so.

00:12:15.870 --> 00:12:24.570 Project Purple: that's something that you know it just is not it's not an easy surgery to have and you need really a specialist and someone who does this for a living.

00:12:25.200 --> 00:12:39.810 Project Purple: that's something that I always stress with families, so my dad surgery just really complex, so he had about a 10 hour whipple recovered had six months of chemo and we were given like what they call him the cancer Community any D no evidence of disease.

00:12:39.930 --> 00:12:40.350 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Okay.

00:12:40.590 --> 00:12:40.890 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So that's.

00:12:40.950 --> 00:12:42.090 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Good that's that's what you want.

00:12:42.330 --> 00:12:53.760 Project Purple: That right that's good, and so you know, in the back of my mind, so now we're into 2009 early 2009 I was, like all right, you know, like things are okay like you know we'll get through this, but my dad still wasn't right.

00:12:54.630 --> 00:13:05.460 Project Purple: Fast forward to 2010 march of 2010, to be exact, he was passing some stole his in his your arm and he had blood in his store I should say.

00:13:05.910 --> 00:13:10.380 Project Purple: And so the doctor at the time was like hey just go straight to the hospital like you should get admitted.

00:13:10.710 --> 00:13:14.970 Project Purple: It gets admitted and then realized they do some testing and they're like hey you have.

00:13:15.330 --> 00:13:22.560 Project Purple: You know now your cancer has metastasized it's in your lungs it's in your liver, you know it's everywhere, so at that point, you know.

00:13:22.920 --> 00:13:33.000 Project Purple: We met again with the oncologist so march of 2010 my dad was diagnosed with stage four now met a static pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver and other organs.

00:13:33.420 --> 00:13:41.940 Project Purple: And so that's when for me Tommy like the gear started to really kind of like holy cow man like I got a lot in here to save my dad.

00:13:42.390 --> 00:13:55.230 Project Purple: And you know I go back to the very beginning, like cancer, was it for into our family, but this cancer was really unique and, naturally, you know, the first thing I did was I Google searched I went to the Internet, which was probably a bad thing.

00:13:55.950 --> 00:14:01.620 Project Purple: You know, and you see that you know at the time it was like Patrick swayze Michael landon you know little.

00:14:02.370 --> 00:14:10.230 Project Purple: mentioned about Steve Jobs and so you know you start to look at the statistics and you start to realize like wow this is going to be a fight.

00:14:10.860 --> 00:14:12.990 Project Purple: But my dad was a fighter, we fought it.

00:14:13.740 --> 00:14:25.560 Project Purple: But during that time I had my own insurance practice i've always considered myself an entrepreneur I left corporate America in 2006 started my own insurance brokerage was doing really well at the time when my dad got sick.

00:14:26.250 --> 00:14:32.640 Project Purple: You know the stock market was crashing but the insurance business wasn't really impacted for another two to three years because of fixed rates and how.

00:14:33.120 --> 00:14:40.710 Project Purple: Business works, and so I was blessed like I said to I have an older brother and my parents being immigrants, I was, like all right.

00:14:41.100 --> 00:14:51.720 Project Purple: i'll be the chauffeur like i'll drive to everything i'll make the commitment I talked to my wife, we had young kids at the time, so I will again was blessed with the business to be able to walk away.

00:14:52.800 --> 00:15:03.720 Project Purple: From the day to day, let the employees run it, they could find me if they needed to get Ahold of me, but I was just going to be there for my dad and my mom would be the show for and I learned so much Tommy.

00:15:03.930 --> 00:15:11.940 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I want, I want to stop right here, you know because I want it, I gotta take a quick break and I don't want to stop you at all, but we'll just do a quick one, because I think that's an important part.

00:15:12.150 --> 00:15:21.870 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: You have that quality time with your dad and and it also was a time where you could learn a lot about this disease, which I think is really what what's going to propel forward with with project purple is that right.

00:15:22.290 --> 00:15:24.750 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Absolutely alright so let's take two minutes guys.

00:15:24.960 --> 00:15:34.200 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: it's Tommy D in the attic flat fee and focus, you know where we are in Friday morning Dean over ellie's here project purple will be back in a minute and a half, two minutes, listen to the commercials come back and check in with us thanks you know we'll be right back.

00:18:28.260 --> 00:18:28.770 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: that's right.

00:18:30.360 --> 00:18:39.990 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: every Friday morning at 10 Eastern where I will have another incredible leader but nonprofit organization telling their story, I just want to read something really quick before we jump into the conversation.

00:18:40.410 --> 00:18:50.820 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: This is from and it says the American cancer society estimates for pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2000 estimates for pancreatic cancer in 2021 are.

00:18:51.270 --> 00:19:03.780 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: About 60,430 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and that's skewed more towards men about 31 32,000 men 28,000 and change females.

00:19:05.190 --> 00:19:14.580 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And unfortunately out of that 60,000 number and Dino and I were talking about this earlier in the week 48,000 people will die from pancreatic cancer this year.

00:19:16.290 --> 00:19:26.340 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Tragic tragic that's that's I don't have anything more to say than and that's tragic i'm Dean, overall, is here with us in the attic co founder of project purple.

00:19:26.820 --> 00:19:37.140 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And if you were here for the first segment dina was telling us about how his father battle pancreatic cancer and he had whipple surgery For those of you in business, who are familiar with this.

00:19:37.530 --> 00:19:52.260 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I will tell you this, you know my my brother in law Jason and my sister they listen to the program and I know that segment is going to be right up his alley he's a nurse, and he he just digs all that kind of clinical stuff so he's he probably AJ what's up shout out.

00:19:53.640 --> 00:20:05.160 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So let's say Sydney you know we we were talking when we before we took the break and your dad had this whipple surgery, and then you know came back that cancer came back, and you know multiple oregon's.

00:20:05.580 --> 00:20:15.990 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And then you sort of became the chauffeur fortunately you were in business and i'm familiar with this in a business where you have flexibility and you could step away and do the family thing, so please take it up where we where we left off.

00:20:16.710 --> 00:20:33.210 Project Purple: yeah so, as I said, so I became the show for for everything, and that that goes back to the very beginning, back in 2008 you know, and you know clearly it was a very shorter time frame that we were in treatment and then you know fast forward to 2010 and you know.

00:20:34.260 --> 00:20:44.520 Project Purple: That second diagnosis, you know just was like getting punched in the gut, quite honestly, you know, and now you realize like oh damn like you know we have limited time.

00:20:45.570 --> 00:20:53.190 Project Purple: But you know we we fought, and you know just being there all the time Tommy you know I realized.

00:20:53.610 --> 00:21:02.910 Project Purple: You know you see everything and you see, and hopefully the audience listening watching gets this when I say this as you see it from a different lens.

00:21:03.330 --> 00:21:12.270 Project Purple: Right like you're you're you're not fighting, but you have a loved one fighting but it's not like your spouse life is going to change, but you just see that in a different lens.

00:21:12.840 --> 00:21:20.040 Project Purple: And I just saw cracks in the system and and and I think being an entrepreneur like my head started to spend a little bit.

00:21:20.820 --> 00:21:28.920 Project Purple: I don't actually I love my dad you know I didn't want my dad to die, and really the the original inspiration was to do something for my dad.

00:21:29.610 --> 00:21:35.550 Project Purple: But I realized quickly like that wasn't going to be a reality, like I wasn't going to save my dad i'm not Superman.

00:21:36.420 --> 00:21:50.190 Project Purple: But though at the same time, like you know Okay, so we fast forward or we go back like 2008 the stock market crashed I had my own insurance business I had two kids under five my dad was dying from pancreatic cancer.

00:21:51.360 --> 00:21:53.700 Project Purple: I need an outlet now my wife was a runner.

00:21:54.300 --> 00:22:01.800 Project Purple: Originally, I hated running I played collegiate basketball basketball players to but we don't run long distance like you do training, I remember like.

00:22:02.070 --> 00:22:10.230 Project Purple: In college like we would do training in the beginning of it like fall like before the basketball season and it's soft like we'd have to get up early like running the cold.

00:22:10.680 --> 00:22:19.980 Project Purple: And you know friends that I was working out with like one day they're like hey let's go out for a jog like let's just do a mile like we were trying to do Cardio and I was like man, this is awesome.

00:22:20.250 --> 00:22:28.200 Project Purple: Like I live in the suburbs here in Connecticut like we'd go out like there's no streetlights you know I always try to work out early so it's like four o'clock five o'clock in the morning.

00:22:28.470 --> 00:22:35.640 Project Purple: And you're seeing like raccoons and skunks and squirrels right like that that's the entertainment in the morning, but it was just such a.

00:22:36.600 --> 00:22:45.420 Project Purple: defining moment for me at that time because I could think clearly, and I remember like going on those first ones, which were just like a mile with like this group of.

00:22:45.840 --> 00:22:49.110 Project Purple: Somewhere strangers at the time, which now they become best friends.

00:22:49.590 --> 00:22:56.760 Project Purple: And like we wouldn't really talk much because naturally like we weren't big into running and if you know, like you're just a blast.

00:22:57.000 --> 00:23:06.960 Project Purple: You know, so it was just like this clarity and then you would come back and i'd have this like endorphin rush and i'd be like all right i'll do this today or i'll do this for my dad or maybe we can do this, or you know and so.

00:23:07.290 --> 00:23:21.030 Project Purple: The wheels just started to churn man really crazy, you know, and I think just seeing them now being what my dad later that day and then realizing like wow this nurses, just like amazing but i'll tell you a quick story.

00:23:21.780 --> 00:23:25.950 Project Purple: i'll never forget this, and this was kind of there's so many little bits of inspiration.

00:23:26.460 --> 00:23:34.410 Project Purple: But I remember like being in chemo with my dad and, at the time right yeah and they have these chemo pods there's four people to a room.

00:23:34.920 --> 00:23:42.240 Project Purple: And like when my dad would go to chemo was like a freakin party man, it was like my mom me and then always like one of his like.

00:23:42.750 --> 00:23:51.780 Project Purple: Construction buddies one of his Italian club, but like my dad was super involved in the construction business and then in an Italian club like that you know they have a lot of talent clubs here in.

00:23:51.780 --> 00:23:54.690 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Connecticut for soccer club you're talking about with the Espresso the whole thing.

00:23:55.170 --> 00:24:08.370 Project Purple: yeah it's like hardcore time it gets like they do monthly dinners while they used to before coven they have like these big carnival in the summertime like when the World Cup is on like when Italy one like these guys like rented like.

00:24:09.450 --> 00:24:18.030 Project Purple: tractor trailers and they did this like impromptu parade in bridgeport like going up and down the streets for like 20 minutes just celebrating Italy in one you know.

00:24:18.420 --> 00:24:18.750 Project Purple: It was like.

00:24:18.810 --> 00:24:25.740 Project Purple: kind of community is just like really tight group of guys and i'll all these guys like came from Italy established lives here and built families right.

00:24:26.040 --> 00:24:30.270 Project Purple: So we'd always have like that aspect, when we go to chemo like it was like almost like a party.

00:24:30.750 --> 00:24:37.980 Project Purple: And again, it was like to share my dad up to help pass the time because his chemo sessions were like eight to 10 hours like it was a long day.

00:24:38.850 --> 00:24:47.430 Project Purple: And you know my mom would bring snacks for everyone, like you know was like it was almost like sack religious to have cafeteria food or to accept the food that the hospital.

00:24:48.240 --> 00:24:50.760 Project Purple: that's how like you know the old school Italians are.

00:24:51.600 --> 00:25:06.150 Project Purple: I just remember getting back to the story like so we're sitting in the quad and you would be there again were there for that long time like you would get to know these other people, and you would talk to them bs now never forget man this guy comes into the quad never saw before.

00:25:07.230 --> 00:25:15.060 Project Purple: could look very sick and he sits down, and he has like I think it was like Chinese food and a coke.

00:25:15.630 --> 00:25:22.800 Project Purple: And I look over, and I was like man i'm like my mom's got a picnic basket filled with chicken cutlets that she just made that morning.

00:25:22.980 --> 00:25:34.170 Project Purple: Or the night before like pennies like hard roles like cookies we even got like a whole case of snapple with us like literally, we would roll into yeah with like a cooler food and that's how I roll.

00:25:34.530 --> 00:25:47.190 Project Purple: And, like the nurses would get stuff like the doctor she my mom would go like crazy with once you bring so I just remember looking at this guy and he walked in and I heard him talking to the nurse and again you're talking and he's like Oh, I have to take the bus sorry i'm late.

00:25:48.330 --> 00:25:57.360 Project Purple: And I might end up breaking cancer right and I was like 30 I was in my one of my 40 so I was like you know 38 at the time.

00:25:58.740 --> 00:26:05.790 Project Purple: And the guy looked like 20 years older than me come to find out, he was younger than me and he had brain cancer.

00:26:06.420 --> 00:26:12.750 Project Purple: And I and, at the time I was like man like look at this do this poor guy like he had to take the boss.

00:26:13.470 --> 00:26:28.830 Project Purple: Be he's eating like it, you know at the time I was like it's just like not like a nutritious meal he's having a coke like you know, like it's not really a typical of what cancer patients should be eating now.

00:26:29.700 --> 00:26:35.100 Project Purple: That was a piece of inspiration for me at the time, where I realized like hey we had it really good.

00:26:35.670 --> 00:26:44.640 Project Purple: Like we had health insurance, we had family, we have friends, we had all this like great food and all these things but there's so many people that don't have.

00:26:45.330 --> 00:26:49.620 Project Purple: No, I look back now, and I say, well, that guy was probably.

00:26:50.280 --> 00:26:56.340 Project Purple: Eating that food because that's what really tasted good and that's what he could stomach right like coke probably felt good.

00:26:56.610 --> 00:27:04.500 Project Purple: The Chinese food probably felt good, and you know what that's better than like trying to eat like super nutritious high protein meals and stuff like that.

00:27:04.950 --> 00:27:11.460 Project Purple: So that was like a huge inspiration for me, and you know at that point, I was, like all right, we got to do something.

00:27:12.210 --> 00:27:23.220 Project Purple: And my running group friends were like hey let's do a five K and I was like nah man I don't want to do a five K and give it to like a local hospital a local charity, I want to do my own thing because I want to help people.

00:27:23.610 --> 00:27:34.440 Project Purple: And, and you know again being an entrepreneur I looked at the space, there was zero awareness being done, I mean there's groups but there wasn't the right awareness there wasn't any money there still isn't a lot of funding.

00:27:34.740 --> 00:27:51.570 Project Purple: And if you break this thing down and why it's so bad is there's zero awareness and there's zero funding, so I literally started running and you know the running aspect for me was so positive that I wanted to give that back, and so I had this idea of starting a charity and.

00:27:51.570 --> 00:27:52.740 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Basically, and i'm running.

00:27:54.450 --> 00:27:54.900 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So.

00:27:56.070 --> 00:28:00.990 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: starting a charity and running and you brought and that's that's kind of the genesis of this whole thing.

00:28:01.320 --> 00:28:08.850 Project Purple: that's where it started yeah like that was really that's like the foundation of what this has become and naturally there's a running picture behind us.

00:28:09.150 --> 00:28:09.840 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: yeah you know.

00:28:09.930 --> 00:28:22.650 Project Purple: We embrace running since day one, one of the ideas I remember sitting at the first board meeting was, like all right, what ideas do we have and everyone's like toss it out like let's do a wine tasting let's do a dinner, and I was like hey.

00:28:23.160 --> 00:28:28.950 Project Purple: If running is going to be part of this let's do something really crazy, because I know we need to raise awareness and money.

00:28:29.250 --> 00:28:39.060 Project Purple: let's run 13 half marathons and 13 months because the half marathon is 13.1 miles everyone's like that's a great idea Okay, but we need someone to do this who's going to do it.

00:28:40.200 --> 00:28:45.300 Project Purple: I look around, no one raises their hand and a bunch of part of mine goes well if it's your idea, maybe you should do.

00:28:46.500 --> 00:28:49.290 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: up to that point had you done again you just started.

00:28:50.340 --> 00:28:55.890 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So alright, so this is a perfect time to take a break, because I just thinking about all that running is making me tired, so I.

00:28:57.870 --> 00:29:04.620 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So I needed, we need to take a quick one we come back, I want to hear about the running and then I want to dive into programs, I want to really understand and.

00:29:04.890 --> 00:29:13.320 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: You know what it is somebody calls you somebody who's dealing with this is terrible disease and and what that process looks like and where you plug them into and how you help them out so.

00:29:13.620 --> 00:29:21.600 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: it's Tommy D in the attic nonprofit sector character philanthropy and focus, you know at every Friday morning Dino braley co founder project purpose here with me.

00:29:21.840 --> 00:29:28.650 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: we're all wearing purple today if you're just listening, you can see, but where a lot of purple i'll see you guys in about a minute and a half, two minutes, thanks to.

00:29:30.480 --> 00:29:33.600 Project Purple: Listening to talk radio nyc.

00:32:16.290 --> 00:32:26.070 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Time so far, if you listen to it, even when i'm not doing the show it makes me smile every single time, so thank you shout out to uncle Brendan my body Brendan levy queen Chamber commerce.

00:32:26.760 --> 00:32:35.460 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Business Development officer and lead singer of the goods formerly formerly called the goods now is only men they call themselves damaged goods and they lay down that track for me and.

00:32:36.120 --> 00:32:40.500 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: We have we have a whole bunch more lyrics that we will be extending song some point soon.

00:32:41.370 --> 00:32:51.000 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: But listen nonprofits need connection so so maybe in the attic that's what we're doing here do you knows here, do you know verbally founder CEO project purple and we were just talking about.

00:32:51.870 --> 00:33:01.320 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: What he saw this problem, he saw these challenges, or cracks in the system not not enough awareness around this dreaded disease pancreatic cancer.

00:33:01.740 --> 00:33:10.080 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And he created he created an organization and it started with running so it started with awareness right, I said I gotta do something here, and then you started running so tell me about that.

00:33:10.470 --> 00:33:17.610 Project Purple: yeah and you know i've always been a firm believer Tommy you know you build awareness, the money will come, and you know this is something.

00:33:18.270 --> 00:33:26.130 Project Purple: You know, being an entrepreneur, you need money to do things right, and so I was really blessed to have an insurance business to really help this thing get off the ground, you know, I was able to.

00:33:26.340 --> 00:33:34.410 Project Purple: take some time away from the insurance business and focus on project purple and you know running to me was so therapeutic it was such a positive outlet.

00:33:34.740 --> 00:33:42.480 Project Purple: During that time I wanted to give it back, we had that idea of 13 and 13 I didn't know in this space, there were other groups.

00:33:43.260 --> 00:33:53.220 Project Purple: That were doing like walks, but no one was doing running the way I envisioned it, which was like actually you know, at first, we were like going like so in this 13 and 13 campaign.

00:33:53.850 --> 00:34:01.410 Project Purple: That we did like I literally was like just picking like local half marathons around the New England area and just going and doing is.

00:34:01.410 --> 00:34:02.070 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: There enough.

00:34:02.100 --> 00:34:03.840 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Was there a not like it was up.

00:34:04.230 --> 00:34:09.900 Project Purple: There you could run one every weekend if you wanted to, so it wasn't really that wasn't really the issue.

00:34:10.890 --> 00:34:14.640 Project Purple: It became an issue, because what happened Tommy as this thing started.

00:34:14.940 --> 00:34:24.510 Project Purple: Like I had friends in Boston I went to school in Rhode island, you know roommates up there, they were like yo like come up to Boston are run this one with you and I was like i'm really bad at saying no.

00:34:24.780 --> 00:34:31.140 Project Purple: Nothing has ever matured like you got to learn like you know we've probably all read this like the most powerful thing is to say no right.

00:34:31.200 --> 00:34:33.960 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Well, you should probably come back on the show and teach me how to do that i'm not real good.

00:34:34.650 --> 00:34:44.550 Project Purple: yeah i'm trying man i'm trying it's really hard, but so I just kept saying yes right, and so in how we evolved and how this like really jumped was.

00:34:44.970 --> 00:34:56.310 Project Purple: I was able to get a number for the Boston marathon, and this is crazy thinking about this because I get a call Easter Sunday back in 2012.

00:34:56.970 --> 00:35:07.560 Project Purple: The Boston marathon was in seven days, and the call was hey I have a number for you to run the Boston marathon in seven days, do you want it, let me know.

00:35:08.190 --> 00:35:15.480 Project Purple: i'm sitting there at Easter dinner with my in laws my dad had passed in September of 2011 so we were with my in laws for Easter.

00:35:16.020 --> 00:35:25.740 Project Purple: Sunday and I said I looked over my wife and she's from Massachusetts and i'm like hey i'm like I got this number, what do I do she's like you freakin run it whatever.

00:35:30.360 --> 00:35:37.710 Project Purple: Like to this point Tommy and the audience like I did not run past 13 miles like I never ran longer than.

00:35:37.920 --> 00:35:38.430 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: you've only.

00:35:38.490 --> 00:35:44.790 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: you've never even like in like practicing you've not so 1313 how many times at that point.

00:35:45.060 --> 00:35:59.970 Project Purple: So I launched the 13 and 13 in June of 11 So here we are April of 2012 so I had done probably like 10 to 11 I think half marathons because there were a couple months that I did double.

00:36:00.360 --> 00:36:03.510 Project Purple: So I was, like all right, this will be cool to like.

00:36:03.960 --> 00:36:11.790 Project Purple: culminate like this 13 and 13 I was thinking and just like hey man like if I can't raise money doing this like this, like you know.

00:36:12.030 --> 00:36:18.840 Project Purple: This just the narrative was awesome right like never run more than 13 miles doing this for my dad doing it for project purple.

00:36:19.170 --> 00:36:27.690 Project Purple: So I went out and did that and i'll never forget it man like it was and and you know for those that are runners the 2012 Boston marathon.

00:36:28.050 --> 00:36:39.270 Project Purple: Was I think one of the hottest up until that point in history So here we are, in April, like in April New England doesn't get really warm I think that day tapped out at like 87 degrees.

00:36:39.690 --> 00:36:49.500 Project Purple: The Boston marathon I started was I got 11pm or 11am so like it's not like, where we have these cool mornings like you know go off to 11 and so.

00:36:50.490 --> 00:36:57.420 Project Purple: It was just an insane experience man I started at the back of the race because charity runners for Boston usually start in the back.

00:36:57.990 --> 00:37:08.070 Project Purple: Because it's a qualifying race, but that day I learned so much about me I learned so much about marathon running and that really at that point, I was, like all right.

00:37:08.310 --> 00:37:22.020 Project Purple: Like, we need to get some marathons because i'll never forget, and this is there's been so many stories, but like I remember starting the race and I look over and there's this blind guy but he was probably like 260 pounds like six foot four.

00:37:22.410 --> 00:37:23.820 Project Purple: And he's blowing by me.

00:37:24.180 --> 00:37:29.310 Project Purple: And here I am i'm six foot one i'm like 195 pounds pretty good shape and i'm like.

00:37:29.820 --> 00:37:37.950 Project Purple: Anyone can do this anyone anyone and that day like crossing the finish line I was like so pumps so jazz I was like.

00:37:38.340 --> 00:37:52.050 Project Purple: It took me like five hours, I think, to get through that day, I did not stop running until like mile 22 and then I have to walk a little bit and outside cramping out, I was like having a really i've never had a really good Boston marathon experience and i've run the race three times.

00:37:53.370 --> 00:38:06.420 Project Purple: But it was just such a euphoric experience, and I was, like all right and that experience kind of slingshot at us Tommy you talked about New York, you know the following, you know we get into New York actually in 2012.

00:38:07.290 --> 00:38:18.900 Project Purple: that's a November of that so you know that inspired me there was a couple other things we get into New York we've been getting the New York marathon since 2012 that year was cancelled because of hurricane sandy.

00:38:20.040 --> 00:38:27.030 Project Purple: 13 you know we were, I was in the Boston marathon the bomb, I was like half mile from when the bombs went off.

00:38:27.690 --> 00:38:33.360 Project Purple: day I cramped out and I had to slow down my pace was around 409, which is when the bombs and love.

00:38:33.930 --> 00:38:41.850 Project Purple: You know, and then that slingshot of us into the Chicago marathon and then it got us into all these other races, and so we just continue to grow.

00:38:42.300 --> 00:38:53.490 Project Purple: And it was all because of running and then the program's evolves you know we realized like not everyone wanted to do a marathon so we started to get involved in some half marathons and five k's and then.

00:38:53.940 --> 00:39:07.980 Project Purple: I started do a lot of crossfit you brought up the three marathons in 21 days so in 2014 I get these crazy ideas, sometimes and it's and it's it's twofold one I know.

00:39:08.640 --> 00:39:16.950 Project Purple: Like if I do something really extreme will maybe it'll get the attention it'll help raise awareness, the media will grab on hold or someone will be inspired to do it as well.

00:39:17.730 --> 00:39:31.290 Project Purple: But I also loved the aspect of pushing myself physically and mentally and that, like a marathon man like it pushes you to the brink right mentally and physically, so I said during that time.

00:39:32.010 --> 00:39:37.710 Project Purple: You know I think at that point 2014 we were in New York, we were charity partner, now the Boston marathon.

00:39:38.010 --> 00:39:45.240 Project Purple: We were a charity partner, the Chicago marathon marine corps marathon some of the biggest marathons in the country, not in even in the world.

00:39:45.750 --> 00:39:56.370 Project Purple: And so I said, you know what we were in Chicago New York and marine corps that year, I said why don't I do all three and i'm like they're 21 days from Chicago marathon to the New York marathon.

00:39:56.760 --> 00:40:06.540 Project Purple: So I did it, you know it was crazy I PR and actually my best time was in New York that year and so's my best time and so.

00:40:06.900 --> 00:40:15.930 Project Purple: It was just a really like enjoyable experience the other idea I had that year was like hey why don't we do the Marine corps marathon and then we'll run up to New York.

00:40:17.010 --> 00:40:22.230 Project Purple: You know and do this like crazy like one week run and then run the marathon you know, maybe we'll do that.

00:40:22.290 --> 00:40:23.400 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: matter you didn't do that part.

00:40:23.490 --> 00:40:29.100 Project Purple: No, we did it that's so on, like our idea board so maybe we'll do that one of these years, but you know.

00:40:29.370 --> 00:40:35.160 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: We a lot i'm hearing a lot of weeks so are you either people bring with you or or you say we have supporters.

00:40:35.370 --> 00:40:44.160 Project Purple: I say we so when I did that, like I had one board member paste me at one of the races, but I say we, I mean like the charity.

00:40:44.190 --> 00:40:48.930 Project Purple: yeah I always I never see this Tommy as the Dean over le show.

00:40:48.960 --> 00:40:50.640 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: it's always project purple.

00:40:50.970 --> 00:41:01.110 Project Purple: And I have always felt like so I started this in memory of my dad it's evolved I become best friends with a lot of survivors, a lot of people that have passed.

00:41:01.410 --> 00:41:12.210 Project Purple: A families that have been involved have become families to me now like an extension of my family So when I say we, I mean organization because me.

00:41:12.270 --> 00:41:12.600 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I got it.

00:41:13.050 --> 00:41:22.020 Project Purple: i've done a lot of these things, but when I do things it's not because of me it's about like, how can I help amplify the message that we're doing.

00:41:22.080 --> 00:41:29.610 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: How can you help amplify the message gang that's what I always say thank you, you know right on love that phrase amplified because you're out there as.

00:41:30.030 --> 00:41:34.590 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Whether whether you want it or not, you're out to the head of the spear on this, though, you are.

00:41:35.010 --> 00:41:38.520 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: You know, but even even just looking at if you're not watching it just listening folks.

00:41:38.850 --> 00:41:45.060 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: It doesn't say Dean over really in dino's little zoom box, it says project purple because he's about the mission is about the organization.

00:41:45.360 --> 00:41:51.930 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So I love, how you talked about, but you are out there amplifying the message for for you, I want to know this somebody calls in and says.

00:41:52.410 --> 00:42:00.810 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I have i've just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, what happens, what does that look like what, what are the services you provide tell me a little bit about that stuff.

00:42:01.290 --> 00:42:07.950 Project Purple: yeah so we have a couple services here that we provide, and so one of them is patient financial aid and we become a leader.

00:42:08.460 --> 00:42:20.010 Project Purple: In the space for patients that require financial aid, while they fight, and unfortunately Tommy you know i've always said it's never an elimination of debt but it's hopefully.

00:42:21.180 --> 00:42:27.630 Project Purple: provides the patient hope and some maybe the opportunity to take a deep breath for that month.

00:42:28.470 --> 00:42:36.600 Project Purple: That they don't have to worry about their utility bills their rent the grocery that copay that is there because, as we know.

00:42:37.590 --> 00:42:44.310 Project Purple: Cancer hasn't stopped just because there's a pandemic those don't stop because there's cancer diagnosis.

00:42:44.700 --> 00:42:53.760 Project Purple: But what happens with this cancer and it's not an old person's disease anymore it's it's everyone, I mean we have I have people now that are battling that are in their 30s.

00:42:54.240 --> 00:43:04.320 Project Purple: I have people that are battling in their 40s with families with kids like in they can't work this disease is so nasty that and the treatments are so difficult.

00:43:04.740 --> 00:43:20.490 Project Purple: So it's very hard for people to maintain a quote unquote normal life of a nine to five clocking in work and take a day off to do chemo or you know do chemo afterwards that's not a reality, so we hope that that Program.

00:43:21.150 --> 00:43:30.270 Project Purple: provides some assistance we do work with other groups, we have a resource list that has like 30 other groups that provide all sorts of resources, be it from housing.

00:43:30.600 --> 00:43:46.530 Project Purple: To transportation to counseling and also financial aid so that's a main core program that's been with us since day one, and that really came from my own personal experience, like my dad like we saw it like he didn't need assistance like we had insurance, we have.

00:43:47.970 --> 00:44:00.630 Project Purple: But a lot of people don't and so that's something that we wanted to do we wanted to help people get through that because I truly believe people should focus on themselves, while they fight in their families and not about paying the bills.

00:44:00.720 --> 00:44:10.770 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I love that I think that's that's so important it's pointing, because how can we get healthy for stressed out worrying about other things like you know so that's you're giving people.

00:44:11.400 --> 00:44:17.040 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: The opportunity to heal and to fight by not having them get caught up on these other things we're going to go to a quick break.

00:44:17.310 --> 00:44:23.040 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Dino and Tommy here in the attic we're talking about pancreatic cancer we're talking about project purple, but when we come back you know I want to.

00:44:23.370 --> 00:44:27.270 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: want to talk real quick about the proceed consortium you tell me about that.

00:44:27.540 --> 00:44:40.020 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: and talk to me about the future of this organization and then obviously how people get in touch with you, and what what the organization really needs obviously it's money, we know that but besides that will be back in two minutes philanthropy and focus thanks.

00:46:25.770 --> 00:46:32.670 Listening to talk radio nyc at www talk radio dot nyc now broadcasting.

00:46:56.670 --> 00:47:05.670 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: ECHO join me in the attic every Friday we're joined today, do you don't came over from Connecticut I don't know if you took the ferry Well, no, he just assumed, it was just.

00:47:07.440 --> 00:47:14.580 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So i'm here in the attic on long island, you know it's coming at us from bridgeport from that now grew up in bridgeport I don't know if you're in bridgeport anymore, is that, where the organization is.

00:47:14.820 --> 00:47:18.630 Project Purple: So we're based out of seymour Connecticut so we're about 20 minutes north of bridgeport.

00:47:18.690 --> 00:47:25.980 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: 20 minutes North and see more so, what you know what I what i've always heard over the years and it's you know it's kind of plays in my mind is.

00:47:26.310 --> 00:47:33.630 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: You know, early detection early detection, so I mean knowing I had this conversation coming up with you today, and I was having a physical.

00:47:34.140 --> 00:47:42.450 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I was like I was curious, and I was asking the doctor, how do you, you know, are they test, you can do for cancer are they different things so let's let's jump right into that because.

00:47:43.410 --> 00:47:55.320 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: How do you how do you detect this or I have it says in 2019 we launched proceed proceed consortium, which will become the world's largest early detection consortium for high risk families, what does that about Dino.

00:47:56.010 --> 00:48:14.370 Project Purple: yeah so and i'll just take a quick 30 seconds, there is no early detection task for paper, I can't okay there there you know most patients are diagnosed Stage Three or greater upon just so and that's why it's just you mentioned the statistics that's why they're so bad.

00:48:14.400 --> 00:48:18.780 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: right because they're so like the game there's no it's it's already too late yeah.

00:48:18.990 --> 00:48:29.400 Project Purple: yeah so you know it's got the the if you look at all the cancers in general, this has got the lowest five year survival rate of all major cancers in the States it's 10% now that's gone up.

00:48:29.700 --> 00:48:37.410 Project Purple: incrementally like 1% a year over the last couple years but that's just not enough i'm not happy with it it's pathetic and it's embarrassing so.

00:48:38.070 --> 00:48:45.000 Project Purple: Early detection is is funny because you look at breast cancer there's mammograms you look at colon cancer there's.

00:48:45.630 --> 00:48:56.910 Project Purple: You know colonoscopies you look at prostate there's PSA pancreatic cancer, you know they've been working on blood based biomarkers for the last like five years nothing's come out of it like definitive.

00:48:57.510 --> 00:49:00.540 Project Purple: So, but there's there's been a lot of work in genetics.

00:49:00.840 --> 00:49:12.120 Project Purple: And so, if you look at genetics in cancer as a whole that's really been a game changer like, if you look at cancers you look at lung cancer like they just came out with a new drug wonder drug about two years ago.

00:49:12.750 --> 00:49:22.380 Project Purple: That really made a difference in lung cancer that was from genetics, you know and breast cancer they've realized like certain genes are responsible for certain breast cancers and now.

00:49:22.800 --> 00:49:31.800 Project Purple: Like women that are younger than have these genes are being screened earlier to avoid you know those terminal diagnosis later in life, not necessarily later, but when, as they get older.

00:49:32.610 --> 00:49:38.790 Project Purple: With pancreatic cancer, we know that about 10% of the cases are from some sort of genetic mutation.

00:49:39.090 --> 00:49:46.140 Project Purple: The one that's probably the most common and I mentioned that people will probably go oh i've heard that is the BRCA the bracket mutation right.

00:49:46.560 --> 00:49:51.690 Project Purple: that's also a breast cancer mutation so it's also responsible for pancreatic cancer so.

00:49:52.380 --> 00:49:58.500 Project Purple: If we go if we say that you know we're saying that 10% of the cases are from some sort of genetic mutation.

00:49:59.010 --> 00:50:06.990 Project Purple: The other piece of this is with pancreatic cancer for that 10% there's actually a treatment protocol that does very well.

00:50:07.290 --> 00:50:19.170 Project Purple: So if people are identified with is gene mutation and get on this treatment protocol their quality of life and their longevity longevity of life, so they live a lot longer it just skyrockets.

00:50:19.260 --> 00:50:23.790 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Let me just interrupt you so i'm understanding this correctly, if someone has the Baraka.

00:50:24.690 --> 00:50:36.900 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: mutation if i'm using the right word, you have that mutation, then the then the answer is well let's get out in front of this and find ways to see what we can do to prevent that turning into this cancer right.

00:50:37.020 --> 00:50:43.530 Project Purple: Exactly exactly because we know we know what do we know Tommy is, we know that that causes it and we also know if they get it.

00:50:43.800 --> 00:50:51.180 Project Purple: And we get it early enough, we can not I wouldn't say, I guess, we could say cure it but give them prolong life, give them better quality of life.

00:50:51.450 --> 00:51:02.310 Project Purple: and potentially eliminate that cancer, because we what we know so pre seed is going after these high risk families, so in jeans are passed on, unfortunately.

00:51:02.670 --> 00:51:12.360 Project Purple: Through families right like through DNA, we all have genes we don't we don't get to decide our genes it's not like going to the store and buying levi's or lucky or whatever it's what's passed on from your family.

00:51:12.900 --> 00:51:19.710 Project Purple: From your mom and dad and and the crazy irony is that not everyone gets the same gene So if you have a large family, you may have.

00:51:20.040 --> 00:51:30.960 Project Purple: A couple siblings that have certain genes and couple that don't case in point, so my mom had bracket to because she had breast cancer now she had breast cancer in 2016 again.

00:51:31.230 --> 00:51:38.280 Project Purple: They did a full panel and she found out that she had this breast cancer, because of this genetic mutation I got tested.

00:51:38.970 --> 00:51:53.160 Project Purple: I have bracket to my brother who's four years older does not know when my dad was diagnosed, we never did the genetic testing wasn't even a thing back then now, believe it or not, it's mandated it's pure the guidance now for the.

00:51:53.400 --> 00:51:55.620 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: mandated What do you mean when there's a diagnosis it's me.

00:51:55.620 --> 00:51:56.520 Project Purple: Right so.

00:51:56.580 --> 00:52:08.940 Project Purple: Now what the government what the NIH recommends I guess you can say it's like loosely mandated but they recommend that anyone who's diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and this is really important for our listeners at home and viewers.

00:52:09.120 --> 00:52:15.600 Project Purple: So if you have a family member that's just been diagnosed make sure they do genetic testing on the tumor and on the patient, because.

00:52:15.870 --> 00:52:28.200 Project Purple: If there is a BRCA mutation or the the seven other genes that we have identified that are responsible for this cancer there's treatment there's diagnostics it changes the whole game and so.

00:52:28.620 --> 00:52:36.240 Project Purple: If we know that this these genes, I should say could be responsible for this cancer and give people this higher risk.

00:52:36.780 --> 00:52:41.190 Project Purple: let's put them in screening let's put them in surveillance two things happen Tommy.

00:52:41.730 --> 00:52:50.310 Project Purple: Just like with other cancers that have screening and surveillance, you find the cancer early, but now you also create massive awareness right.

00:52:50.580 --> 00:52:59.700 Project Purple: people become self aware they can do things you know, like making sure they go annually to to their GP or to their specialist to get checked.

00:53:00.510 --> 00:53:09.180 Project Purple: You know if they need to change their diet get in better shape, you know stop smoking stop drinking things that we know can help prevent the spread of disease.

00:53:09.510 --> 00:53:18.240 Project Purple: This is critical, so this is what proceed is doing is we are identifying families that have these genetic risk or that high risk with these genes.

00:53:18.540 --> 00:53:28.650 Project Purple: and putting them in screening and surveillance drawing blood every year potentially let's say there is in the next five years, a blood tests that can identify that you have this cancer.

00:53:29.130 --> 00:53:36.810 Project Purple: Then guess what we have this blood banks The other thing that's really critical that this disease pancreatic cancer has never had.

00:53:37.200 --> 00:53:44.550 Project Purple: Is we're helping to build a roadmap and, if you look at other cancers you look at breast cancer, they have the roadmap, you get diagnosed with breast cancer.

00:53:44.880 --> 00:53:52.560 Project Purple: They have a roadmap to tell you where to go pancreatic cancer doesn't so take my my example for for a minute here.

00:53:53.280 --> 00:54:01.170 Project Purple: i'm BRCA positive BRCA to positive so i'm in screening and surveillance let's say I get the disease now in like three years.

00:54:01.830 --> 00:54:12.630 Project Purple: Well guess what now we have blood, we have diagnostic they can look and see when this happens and why it happens, they have the roadmap to what's happening here and.

00:54:13.080 --> 00:54:18.540 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: yeah we're creating creating roadmap so so that's that's incredible.

00:54:18.870 --> 00:54:20.190 Project Purple: that's how we change this, we.

00:54:20.790 --> 00:54:21.540 Project Purple: Find out.

00:54:21.660 --> 00:54:32.160 Project Purple: How this disease mutates why it becomes so malignant and dangerous and deadly we don't have that, but we have to do that research upfront to figure that out.

00:54:32.790 --> 00:54:33.690 Project Purple: that's never been done.

00:54:34.020 --> 00:54:37.710 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I can't tell you how appreciative I am of the work you're doing.

00:54:38.220 --> 00:54:48.240 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: You know, we get callings in life, and you were called to this work, you know you were in your insurance business right, you were doing that that you probably expected that's what you were going to do forever, you know.

00:54:48.570 --> 00:54:55.080 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: and obviously that life life has a funny way of making decisions, sometimes we're influencing decisions for us by.

00:54:56.880 --> 00:55:04.890 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: By influencing us with things that happen, and obviously I send my condolences on the loss of your dad because you know that it's a sad story.

00:55:05.730 --> 00:55:10.830 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I appreciate you sharing it with us, I appreciate you coming on do me a favor before we close out, believe it or not, we're running out of time.

00:55:11.220 --> 00:55:18.270 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Before we close out how do they get in touch with you, whether it's to support you whether it's to fundraise what How does How do people reach out to project purple.

00:55:18.630 --> 00:55:32.070 Project Purple: So the best resource is our website, which is project follow us on social media we're super active on Facebook instagram Twitter, we have a podcast we do a weekly podcast I know we haven't talked about that, but.

00:55:32.100 --> 00:55:33.990 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I wanted to how do they find the podcast.

00:55:34.320 --> 00:55:49.800 Project Purple: Wherever you listen to podcast soundcloud iTunes stitcher we're on spotify We talked to a lot of survivors sharing their journeys, a lot of people just doing really positive things in the world in this space and patriotic and also in charities and in the world and.

00:55:50.460 --> 00:55:57.240 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So if you can't find that podcast call me reach out to me send me a note, and I will get you connected, I was listening to one of the episodes this morning.

00:55:57.660 --> 00:56:00.780 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: All right, before we came on here gentlemen was telling His story and.

00:56:01.080 --> 00:56:12.120 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And what he's gone through, so you know Thank you so much for being here i'm going to close it up in a second, but thanks for being here, I really appreciate, you and I i'm just glad that Deborah introduced us because that's how that's how networking relationship starts, so thank you.

00:56:13.710 --> 00:56:23.550 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: yep I am your buddy Tommy D, the nonprofit sector connector coming at you, you know it from the addict and you're about 13 months I haven't run 13 marathon half marathons that they're having run anywhere ever.

00:56:23.820 --> 00:56:32.730 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: But I have been here in the attic for 13 months, how do you get in touch with me Tommy D at philanthropy in focus calm and you know by now focuses pH oC us.

00:56:33.420 --> 00:56:39.360 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: I like it, because it's alliteration it's fun I grew up in the 90s and stuff and shot pH it was a thing, if you remember that stuff.

00:56:40.110 --> 00:56:49.230 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: So listen give me that way on the instagram Tommy D dot nyc next week on the show, I will have my buddy Tom Gretchen CEO the queen's Chamber commerce.

00:56:49.890 --> 00:56:54.150 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Definitely my favorite borrow sorry the other four but certainly my favorite borrowing in the five.

00:56:54.750 --> 00:57:00.930 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: Big Queens guy I think there's 138 different dialects spoken in Queens the most diverse diverse borough.

00:57:01.470 --> 00:57:06.360 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: In on a globe, as I understand it, Tom will be talking about all things business in the Community Queens.

00:57:07.020 --> 00:57:16.650 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: look forward to that next week, stay tuned on the on the on the network, right here Steven Fries program always Friday Jeremiah fox with the entrepreneur for normal Web.

00:57:17.400 --> 00:57:27.180 Tommy D #TheNonProfitSectorConnector: And Joseph McElroy wise content creates well stay tuned talk radio dot nyc i'll see you guys next week in the attic comedy nonprofit sector connector see you next time.

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