Lee’s Summit builder donating proceeds of home to pancreatic cancer research

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GREENWOOD, Mo. -- The American Cancer Society announced that pancreatic cancer deaths will surpass breast cancer deaths this year, moving from the fourth to the third leading cause of cancer related deaths.

Research is critical.

A Lee's Summit builder and his team are using their skills to help raise money for the cause, and it's not your ordinary fundraiser.

A house is being built in Greenwood, Mo. --it's already been sold -- and all the proceeds go toward pancreatic cancer research.

"My wife passed away four years ago on Oct. 27th of pancreatic cancer," Brad Lee said. Lee now volunteers for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network because of his late wife, Julie.

"When she was diagnosed we had high hopes of a cure, but in fact, stage III pancreatic cancer doesn't leave that room for a cure," Lee said, getting emotional.

That's when he came up with Halo House, a home that is built and sold, and the proceeds go toward pancreatic research.

"In the United States every year there are more than 42,000 individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The 5-year survival rate was just increased to 8%; it's still one of the only major cancers that has a single digit survival rate," Kathy Grayson, the Affiliate Chair For The Kansas City Affiliative Of Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, said.

Grayson said the funding from projects like these helps increase their research.

She said the goal is "to provide early detection, research to find that early detection, and hopefully a cure for pancreatic cancer."

Lee said because of Julie, he learned how pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers, and wanted to bring awareness, raise money, and help find a cure.

"It's opened my eyes to the need for research dollars," Lee said.

A long time friend of Lee's, Larry Grego, has been building homes for 25 years in the Kansas City area.

"I saw the effect it had on Brad and his family, was touched by it, and wanted to be a part of and do something to help," Grego said.

Grego, the president of LG Homes, offered to build the house.

"All my suppliers and subcontractors have gone way beyond want I thought they would do to donate - time, effort, enterprise, for this fund. So at this time we're looking at a $75,000 donation," Grego said.

For more information, or how you can help, visit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, or check out the network's Kansas City affiliate and follow them on Twitter for local resources.

You can also check out PurpleStride Kansas City 2016 to get involved.