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Like many athletes, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson is a frequent user of Facebook and Twitter; the main difference between him and other athletes is he’s using these for more than just entertainment purposes.

The Pro Bowl wide receiver is using these social media sites to interact with fans about The DeSean Jackson Foundation For Pancreatic Cancer on his new site–a site created in honor of his father who passed away from the disease in 2009. Jackson is urging fans to simply take a few minutes of their time to spread awareness about a disease that has not only affected his life, but the lives of millions of others.

Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor of the pancreas and is the fourth leading cause of death in men and women. Every hour, four people die from the disease, which is almost equivalent to 100 people each day.

DeSean’s father, Bill, was officially diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during the Eagles’ playoff game against the New York Giants in 2009. Ever since they were young, Bill’s dream for his two sons–DeSean and Byron–was to play football at a professional level and eventually, his dreams came true.

While Byron managed to play two seasons on the practice squad for the Kansas City Chiefs before taking on a career in film, Bill was fortunate enough to watch DeSean breakout as one of the top wide receivers for the Eagles  before passing away. One of his favorite memories was the miraculous 62-yard touchdown reception in the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals that gave the Eagles their first lead of the game after trailing 18 points at halftime.

Shortly after Bill passed away in May 2009, DeSean’s mother, Gayle, suggested her son take advantage of his celebrity status by establishing a foundation in his father’s memory. With a strong supporting cast, Jackson and his family are determined to do everything they can to help find a cure for a disease that killed 39,000 of the 47,000 people diagnosed with it in 2009–especially when it comes to using social media sites.

“As much as it is a silent killer, maybe one of those emails we send out reminds people to check with their doctor about this–and maybe somebody catches the disease early and it helps them.”

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