The Voice Finalist Erin Willett Teams Up with Songwriters Elizabeth Russo and Tova Litvin To Write an Anthem of Hope and Raise One Million Dollars for Pancreatic Cancer Research
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) Sets Goal to Double Survival by 2020
Songwriters Elizabeth Russo, Erin Willett and Tova Litvin, whose lives have all been touched by pancreatic cancer in their families, have joined forces to write an original song “Hope’s Alive” and raise one million dollars this year for pancreatic cancer research. “Hope’s Alive” is produced by Russo’s good friend Dan Whittemore. The songwriters have teamed up with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) to raise awareness, as early detection is the best way to improve outcomes for the disease. The current five-year survival rate is 9%, but PanCAN’s goal is to double that by 2020. 100% of proceeds from sales of “Hope’s Alive” will go to PanCAN to fund cancer research.
Russo, who spearheaded the project, learned her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 and is currently fighting the disease. Russo recruited Willett (who was a finalist on the Voice and most recently transformed herself on the Biggest Loser) to co-write and sing “Hope’s Alive”. The project was poignant for Willett, whose father sadly passed from pancreatic cancer in 2011. “It’s all about putting my energy into something positive,” Willett said. “I can’t control the fact that my father isn’t here, but I can control my activism and my actions via the story I tell.” Willett, who has been advocating for pancreatic cancer research since her father passed, connected the songwriting team with PanCAN. Russo also recruited Litvin, whose mother is a five-year survivor, and together the three women combined their efforts with PanCAN to combat the disease.
To give “Hope’s Alive” an anthem quality, Russo knew she wanted to include a choir as part of the song. With the help of PanCAN, Russo assembled a choir of pancreatic cancer survivors and caregivers. The choir members are also the faces of the song’s accompanying music video. “There are things everyone can do,” Russo said. “Don’t feel helpless or hopeless. We are all here, we are all going to stick together, and we are going to make a difference with this disease”.
To learn about risk factors and early detection of pancreatic cancer, please visit www.pancan.org.
For inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Russo at Elizabeth@annearful.com
Hope’s Alive is now available for download on iTunes and all other platforms.