Norwalk's 'Rallye for Pancreatic Cancer' raises money and awareness

Faced with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Mark Schlegel, of Norwalk, went to work under the hood – restoring a replica Shelby Daytona, the famed race car from Le Mans.
At the time, doctors gave him just nine months to live. More than eight years later, Schlegel and his Shelby are the centerpiece of the sixth annual “Rallye for Pancreatic Cancer.”
“It’s a devastating disease,” Schlegel said. “There’s no means of early detection. I lost my sister to pancreatic cancer in three months. So, I’m fully aware of the pain that it causes families. I want to try to raise some money and give back. I know that there’s nothing they can do for me at this point in time, but with this, we have the potential to save a lot of lives.”
Sunday’s event was expected to raise the total donation over the years to $200,000, which all goes to Norwalk Dr. Richard Frank’s research on early detection.
“[Cars are] his passion, and trying to find early detection for pancreatic cancer is one of my passions,” Dr. Frank said.
The funds raised Sunday aid his clinical trial.
“Those folks, we can maybe catch it early, and from then, develop a blood test to test others at risk,” Dr. Frank said.
“Just about everybody knows Mark Schlegel,” said his wife, Pauline. “It was brave of him that he decided he wanted to give something back.”
From classic muscle to hot rods - even a Good Humor ice cream truck and a grocer’s van - the rallye is as much a celebration of Schlegel’s favorite hobby as it is his recovery.
“I'm very humbled by the community of car people that come out to support us,” Schlegel said.