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Our Warriors

These are stories of people bravely fighting against the odds after receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Life is precious, it is worth fighting for, and we want to help patients fight for more time with loved ones.

Our Warrior David

David Betances was nominated by his wife, Yaneyra, who along with friends and family, are passionately keeping David’s memory alive.
David, a young, 39 year old father and friend to all, had so much to offer and a beautiful life ahead. He had just become a father to his first-born daughter on February 17, 2012, but shortly after, David was escorted out of the nursery room due to excessive coughing.
The days following resulted in hospitalization and eventually, a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
“In late March 2012, our lives were turned upside down when David informed us of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis. He was only the third known person in the world to have 3 different types of cancer in the pancreas, and two of those cancers were unrecognizable.”
He had the Whipple procedure about a month later and was on chemotherapy for almost a year. David, anxious to return to his routine, got out of the hospital and returned to work three days after his surgery.
Unfortunately, his wound opened from all his activity and movement. “I use to clean his wound at home until it healed and closed”, says Yaneyra. Over time, David appeared to get better.
He had adjusted his way of eating by juicing in the mornings (when he wasn’t on chemotherapy) with Sour Sop and greens and added apricot seeds to his diet. After 6 months of chemo, all traces of the cancer were gone.
The cancer returned in 2015 and had metastasized to the liver. David went back on chemotherapy while he continued working and helping friends, just trying to move forward with his life.
He used to ask the doctor for chemotherapy in the form of pills so he could take it to work with him. For David, work was the place where he felt in power and he could forget his cancer. Thankfully, it appeared David had won the fight and was cancer free once more.
By the end of September 2016, they found cancer again metastasized, but in a more aggressive form. His new chemotherapy was stronger and David became very weak.
By the end of 2017, we had good news that most of the cancer was gone and just a tiny bit remained in the pancreas. The doctor recommended radiation to target just one spot, so they stopped chemotherapy to let his body recover.
His radiation was scheduled to begin after his daughter’s birthday in February 2018. Unfortunately, the prescribed drip pain medication sent David to the ER after an overdose.
During his time in the hospital, he received a blood infection, collapsed lung, and his body began to shut down. On March 14th, 2018 David passed, leaving behind a loving family and wealth of friends whom he cherished until the end.
This past June, David’s friends, and family held their first annual walk to keep his memory alive. Together they were able to raise and donate $350 to help NPCF provide unwavering support. We are grateful for the opportunity to share David’s story.