MILWAUKEE — Pancreatic cancer is expected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the country by 2020, according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The Brewers are working as a team to fight these statistics after Director of Medical Operations Roger Caplinger fought the disease.
“Now I can say that I’m a survivor,” Caplinger said.
In just a few short months will be Caplinger will be one-year cancer-free.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2017, and for 11 months went through what he calls one of the most difficult times of his life.
“We had chemotherapy and radiation. We had a surgery called the Whipple procedure,” Caplinger said.
Caplinger uses the word, “we,” to describe his journey with cancer, because he doesn’t consider it “his journey,” and instead one he shared with family, friends, and the Brewers, which he’s been with for nearly 30 years.
“We are a family so whatever you see on TV when our coaches, our players go out in the community and it says, ‘this is our crew,’ well it really is.”
Now this family supported him at the first annual Purple Tie Event to increase awareness and raise money for research.
They all came out for him including Mr. Baseball himself, and a team of doctors from the Medical College of Wisconsin.
“Sometimes it’s actually very difficult to diagnosis and oftentimes it’s picked up late,” Dr. Susan Tsai said
She said genetics or developing diabetes with an onset of weight loss could be potential signs.
“Especially in the last couple of years we’ve seen remarkable advancements and people are living longer and longer,” Dr. Susan Tsai said.
Caplinger is the perfect example. Now he just hopes others know they too can survive.
“We want to get that message out to everyone that this is not unforeseen odds here. You can beat this disease,” Caplinger said.
Caplinger looks forward to making this an annual event.