The Rolfe Foundation serves as a catalyst for the early diagnosis and ultimate cure of pancreatic cancer by funding advanced medical research, public awareness initiatives, and educational programs. The Foundation also seeks to increase the quality and quantity of emotional and psychological support services for pancreatic cancer patients and their families through partnerships with organizations that specialize in this type of care.
- Advance the development of early detection.
Just as there is an early detection test for prostate cancer, the PSA, we support researchers working to develop a similar diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer in its early stage, when it's most treatable.
- Fund medical research at leading clinical and academic centers.
The number of scientific investigators with a demonstrated focus on pancreatic cancer is limited, relative to other cancers. We raise money for top-tier research institutions that can attract more scientists dedicated to pancreatic cancer research.
- Provide resources for pancreatic cancer patients, their families and friends.
It's not always easy to find information about pancreatic cancer. The Rolfe Foundation is a link to people and places for answers about this disease.
At the age of 61, Michael Rolfe, devoted husband and father, died just two weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Like so many others, he learned of his condition after it was advanced to the point of being untreatable. His family and friends, devastated by their loss, decided that a fitting tribute to Mike's legacy would be to find new ways to fight this disease.
Mike's story is not unique. Recently, the American Cancer Society projected that in 2008, approximately 38,000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death.
Pancreatic cancer initially presents few symptoms and can take months to diagnose.
Surprisingly, only a handful of scientists concentrate solely on this disease, and because there are relatively few survivors there are no large-scale national organizations that exclusively fund pancreatic cancer research. In fact, pancreatic cancer research gets relatively little government funding -- $33.1 million, or 0.8% of the National Cancer Institute's total cancer budget.
This is why private funding is so important. The Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation is among a handful of organizations that raises money specifically for pancreatic cancer. We identify scientific programs focused on early detection because the sooner pancreatic cancer is caught, the better the prognosis. Detection of this illness is often difficult and living with it can be taxing for patients and family members alike. With your help, we can raise awareness and encourage more research and better treatments to fight this disease.
In addition, we are among the few organizations to promote support services specifically for pancreatic cancer patients and their families. They have unique needs that require specialized attention. By partnering with organizations that are already experts in working with cancer patients, we are building new programs to reach more people touched by this disease. We hope to use these programs as a template for initiating similar ones throughout clinics, hospitals and cancer centers across the nation.