Mindy Kaling Reveals the Advice Her Mom Gave Her Before Dying from Pancreatic Cancer

The actress' mom Swati died in 2012, eight months after her diagnosis

In honor of World Pancreatic Cancer Day on Thursday, Mindy Kaling is opening up about the loss of her mother, Swati.

In a touching PSA for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's (PANCAN) annual Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month campaign, Kaling, 41, reveals the advice her mom gave her before her death. The star's mother, an OB/GYN in the Boston area, died in 2012, eight months after being diagnosed with the disease.

"When I was growing up, my mom was always there for me," recalls Kaling. "We shared everything together, so when I found out that she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it was one of the toughest moments of my life. We did everything we could for her, but we just hadn't caught it in time."

The Mindy Project star continued, "Before she died, I asked her to give me as much advice as she could. The most important thing she told me was to always be my own best friend, and that's why I'm standing here today with my mom in spirit, to continue her fight by advocating and supporting research that advances early detection and treatments for pancreatic cancer patients and their families."

"Because when we do that, we give those fighting today a chance at a life that my mom didn't have," she adds. "Something that she would be so incredibly proud of. Join me in supporting PANCAN."

Kaling has been open over the years about the painful loss. On Mother's Day in 2019, the actress shared how her mother's memory lives on in the stories Kaling passes on to her daughter, Katherine Swati, who turns 3 in December.

"I always used to dread Mother's Day because of how much I miss my own mom who passed away 8 years ago," Kaling, who has since also welcomed son Spencer, captioned the post. "Going to brunch and seeing all these women laughing and talking to their moms made me so jealous!"

"But this year, I feel lucky to have my daughter, because telling her stories about her grandmother is a great distraction," she continued. "But I will always feel that hole in my heart. So I want to send lots of love to those out there who are missing their mothers."

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