Amy’s Purple Warriors


 

I, Amy (Reimer) Kovach was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer at age 31. I started getting sick at age 29 when I first became pregnant with my son.

I was in great shape and good health going into my pregnancy and I got pregnant in June 2021. I started getting sick September of 2021. It wasn’t until the end of my pregnancy that I got diagnosed with acute pancreatitis in January 2022 when my lipase in the 5000s and I spent the rest of my pregnancy in and out of the hospital until I was induced. My son is perfectly fine. With being diagnosed with pancreatitis, I have had to change my diet to a low-fat diet for life. Since my pancreas can’t absorb fat, I must also take medication called Creon with meals and snacks. 

They ran tests and did MRIs and saw that the tail of my pancreas was inflamed. I got my gallbladder out in March of 2022 to see if it would help. I spent most of 2022 in and out of the hospital with pancreatitis attacks. In July of 2022, they discovered two small cysts around the body of my pancreas. In December 2022, February 2023 and March 2023, I had pancreatic stents replacement surgery to open my main pancreas bile duct that was narrowed. February 2023, they discovered that the portion of my cysts that they tested were precancerous and these cysts had the cancer genes AKT1 and KRAS mutations. I also developed chronic pancreatitis like my dad did when he was 40 and he got the whipple procedure (opposite of me). His aunt died due to the pancreas at age 49. 

April 12, 2023, I got distal pancreatectomy and splenectomy due to IPMN cysts with ovarian like stroma. April 19, 2023, I got the call from my surgeon saying that I had stage 2 pancreatic cancer. I had two post pancreatic fluid infections and one blood infection from my surgery and once I recovered, I had to start chemotherapy. I had to do 12 rounds of horrible chemotherapy called FOLFIRINOX. My last chemotherapy treatment was November 27,2024. I still have side effects from chemotherapy that impact my daily routine. I get routine scans every three months.

I’m the third generation of pancreas issues but tested for 91 genes and it came back negative but there are more genes out there that doctors haven’t identified yet which is why raising money for pancreatic cancer research is so important. It is hard to detect this disease early and that is why the 5-year survival rate is only 13%. I grew up in Phoenixville and I am a Phoenixville graduate of the class of 2010. I am a civil and water resources engineer at Pennoni in West Chester. When I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I called PanCan to learn about my cancer, the chemotherapy, the survival rate statistics, found cancer support groups and they helped me navigate this difficult journey. I am officially cancer free since December 2023 and I wanted to give back to PanCan and help others with their journey.  

I personally know the pain and suffering one goes through if they are lucky to survive this cancer. To honor and remember my journey, I created this foundation because I hope one day with your help and donations, we can be a part of the reason early detection is developed for pancreatic cancer and the increase the five-year survival. The money we raise will go directly to PanCan.

Events

Thank you for supporting the Pan Can Bingo Bash for Amy’s Purple Warriors on March 16 at the Kimberton Fire Company.


 

 Donate

Mail checks made payable to:

Amy’s Purple Warriors Fund c/o CCCF
28 West Market Street
West Chester, PA 19382