ECAN started Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month 15 years ago and we have been delighted to see how many companies, organizations, and individuals have taken advantage of this important opportunity to raise awareness about an often-neglected disease.

Throughout the past 15 years, ECAN has sponsored and supported robust programming for EC Awareness Month: helping supporters from coast to coast who wish to host events to raise awareness and hosting several of our own.  ECAN started in 2008 with the Cancer Dancer: a day of dance classes and for many years thereafter the event grew and transformed into a gala – the first in the U.S. to focus on Esophageal Cancer.

2023 Periwinkle Light the Night

ECAN continues to support all of our ECAN family members in their efforts to raise awareness: encouraging our supporters to gain proclamations from the Governors of their States each year, providing free “reach out” kits with posters, brochures, and periwinkle blue wristbands, requesting that landmarks across North America light the night sky with EC’s periwinkle blue awareness color,  We even offer flood lights so you can light up your own home or office building.

In recent years, ECAN has hosted a Steps to Save Lives Virtual 5K every April with thousands registering in April since 2021 to take those important steps in their own communities to raise awareness and funds to support ECAN’s quest to end Esophageal Cancer. This year’s Steps to Save Lives Virtual 5K takes place from Sunday, April 21 – Sunday April 28.

In 2023. ECAN started a tradition of naming one day in April “Periwinkle Power Day”, encouraging supporters to wear their periwinkle and share photos on the internet so we can “Paint the Internet Periwinkle.” In 2024, Periwinkle Power Day is set for Friday, April 19th.

Countless supporters have hosted awareness-raising events in their workplace or community gathering places. ECAN makes it easier for them with our “Event-in-a-Box” available through our online BuyPeriwinkle store.  The box provides print-your-own posters, EC literature, wristbands, balloons, event guidelines and the opportunity to get coordinating t-shirts, banners, and table runners.  ECAN also offers lawn signs to let neighbors know that Heartburn can cause Cancer.

Taking Steps to Save Lives

This year, an Esophageal Cancer patient who lives in the Baltimore area is hosting an event to raise awareness and funds at a local brewery. Her Paint the Town Periwinkle event will be held Saturday, April 20th from noon until 9 pm at the Falling Branch Brewery in Street, Maryland.  ECAN thanks the Falling Branch for its generosity in donating a dollar to ECAN for every beer sold from noon until 9 pm.

The host of this event, Kimberly Stackhouse Wilson is a Stage IV patient still undergoing treatment, but she has a powerful passion for raising awareness so others won’t know the journey she and her family face.

Periwinkle Power Day 2023

An Inspiring Message from Kimberly Stackhouse Wilson