She lost several loved ones to pancreatic cancer. Now, one local attorney says she has found a new purpose and is vowing to fight back, shining a spotlight and doing her part to help find a cure.
Whitney Goldin is one of Chicago’s Very Own.
“Getting to this path has been riddled with pain, seeing both of my parents going through what they’ve gone through,” said Goldin last month as she described the devastating impact pancreatic cancer has left on her family while hosting a fundraising event titled “Pushing Back Against Pancreatic Cancer.”
“Never did I imagine that my own father would pass away from pancreatic cancer in 2021 and never did I imagine that my mother would then receive that same gut-wrenching diagnosis less than a year and a half after losing my dad,” she said.
Goldin says the fundraiser, held at Temple Shalom in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, resulted from personal loss and mounting frustration to find a cure for the deadly disease.
“My mom’s dad, her dad and her grandfather also passed away from pancreatic cancer,” she said.
Goldin decided to turn her pain into purpose when her mother received the same diagnosis this past October.
“I need to do something,” she said. “This devasting disease is impacting too many of my loved ones. Enough’s enough. I’m done.”
A wife, mother and attorney, Goldin had virtually no experience in fundraising but she reached out to friends, family and local businesses to raise money.
“Most of these businesses who donated are complete strangers to me,” she said. “They are just incredible. The Chicago community is nothing short of amazing.”
From beauty products and bottles of wine, to her father’s favorite barbecue, more than 100 local businesses donated to the cause. Goldin’s mother, Karen Grandon, says she is grateful for the support and proud of her daughter’s efforts.
“This started out as a very small little event. Whitney was turning negativity into something very positive,” she said.
Often referred to as “the silent killer,” Goldin says pancreatic cancer doesn’t garner enough attention.
“I do think it is very underrecognized and underfunded,” she said. “On a federal level, I think there could be a lot more done.”
In the meantime, Goldin is on a mission and says she has found a new purpose in life.
“We’re going to get closer and closer to a cure and I will do everything I can throughout my life and devote myself to getting closer to that,” she said. “I can tell you that that is my new goal. Forever.”