The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center

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The Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation for PC Research

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Michael Rolfe

Michael Rolfe
September 9, 1937 - March 31, 1999

"As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here."

"Death ends a life, not a relationship"

- excerpt from Tuesdays with Morrie

My husband Mike and I had a love affair that lasted 45 years. We married at the tender ages of 21 and 19 respectively, lived a healthy and full life, and were blessed with three wonderful children and five grandchildren. Mike was an "other centered" person. He was a mentor to many; friends and colleagues have told me over and over again how important Mike was in their life and how he encouraged and listened to them in good times and bad. He was an active participant in many charitable groups, a leader in our community and Chicago. He set high standards for himself; he was a lifelong learner. At age 55 he returned to graduate school to earn an MBA at the University of Chicago. He had boundless energy and a wonderful mind. He was such a loving and devoted husband and father. He was a man of integrity and good deeds. He loved life and everyone he encountered. October 12, 1998 changed our lives forever. My husband suffered a mild heart attack, followed by bypass surgery and ten hospitalizations over the next six months for strokes, deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), fluid in his lungs, and finally the diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer. The physicians in charge of his care were dedicated doctors, but at a loss for what was causing this healthy man to suddenly fall apart. It wasn't until two weeks prior to his passing that the diagnosis had a name, Pancreatic Cancer. At that time, the cancer had spread to his lungs. From then on, it was down hill with all vital organs one by one failing.

Our entire family searched for answers both from the medical staff, the Internet, and finally research institutions across the country. It was too late for my husband. I lost my beloved soulmate, our children lost their devoted father, our young grandchildren, a loving doting grandfather, and our friends and his business colleagues, a cherished confidant and mentor. We all are committed to learning more about Pancreatic Cancer and to assisting the "state of the art" research team in the "Early Detection Lab" at Johns Hopkins to battle this deadly disease. We learned that there is a prevalence of Eastern European Jews that are at risk for Pancreatic Cancer, 50-65 is the prevalent age group effected, and it is generally believed that there is a hereditary risk factor. When the disease is diagnosed, it is usually too late! We need to continue to look for ways to detect the disease early on and learn effective ways to treat and hopefully find a cure for this deadly Cancer.

We have endowed the Michael Rolfe Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Johns Hopkins Medical Center to encourage and fund continuing research on this disease, particularly in the domain of early detection. Mike's family and friends are committed to fighting this disease and to making a difference for others. We encourage and welcome you to join us in the fight against this deadly disease.

Judy Rolfe
Andy Rolfe, Lisa and David Burik, and James Rolfe