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UMass Medicine Cancer Walk/Run holds special meaning for GSN student

Krystina Habib, RN, a Graduate School of Nursing student and UMass Memorial nurse, made a promise to her father before he succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2013.

“One September morning during my dad’s final hospitalization, I came to see him, completely unaware that it was the day of the cancer walk. As I looked out the window [from his UMass Memorial Medical Center] room, I remember thinking to myself I will join in on that fight,” said Habib. “November, the month that my dad passed away, is also, ironically, pancreatic cancer awareness month.

“When I shared this with him, I promised him that no matter what, I would continue his fight so that someday, no one would ever have to lose their best friend to this disease.”

Habib is participating in the 18th annual UMass Medicine Cancer Walk/Run on Sept. 25 in memory of her father, Joe Habib, who was a nurse at UMass Memorial Medical Center’s emergency department for 25 years.

The UMass Medicine Cancer Walk/Run raises money for cancer research. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the UMass Medicine Cancer Center in support of clinical trials, research and patient care. More than $8 million has been raised since the walk began in 1999. This year, supporters hope to raise an $450,000, $30,000 more than last year.

For more info about the UMass Medicine Cancer Walk, visit

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