The Peilet Family

When the Peilet family first learned of Dave’s Pancreatic Cancer diagnosis in 2020, it was at Stage 4. After learning that the cancer had already spread, Dave, together with his wife Lisa and their children, Luc and Mari, decided to focus on providing the best quality of life.  

“Dave’s positive outlook kept us pushing through together,” shared Lisa. “He never complained. He never showed the sadness and pain that accompanies this disease. His ‘I’ll get through it’ mentality really set the tone for us to remain positive.” 

It was the middle of the COVID Pandemic, when the entire world was faced with shutdowns and aloneness. Thankfully, Lisa realized she couldn’t do this alone, and that she needed additional information and support to help navigate her and her family through this scary and unfamiliar place. That’s when she found Rolfe Foundation.  

“The Rolfe team showed us such compassion and comfort,” said Lisa. “They connected us with everyone from doctors and social workers to resources to help with our finances. Most importantly, they checked in on us throughout. This personalized care was an invaluable gift for each of us.” 

Dave’s strong mental attitude and positive spirit remained, even as he transitioned into hospice care. Until the end, he was focused on lessening the pain for the ones he loved. Sadly, Dave passed just seven months after his diagnosis. He was surrounded by his family mirroring back the strength and spirit he had projected throughout his life. 

Since that time, the Peilet family has remained in close contact with the Rolfe community and have become increasingly involved in Rolfe’s efforts: Lisa joined the Rolfe Board of Directors; Luc joined the Young Professionals Board; and Mari volunteers her time. Together, they’ve pulled together “Team Uncle Dave” for Rolfe’s annual DASH for Detection 5K run/walk. 

In 2023, Team Uncle Dave boasted 70 participants, and raised more than $12,000 for Rolfe’s mission of funding early detection research and providing patient and family support. This brings the team’s total to more than $33,000 in just two years. 

“It’s hard for all of us, but we have to help find a path for early detection so no one else has to go through what our family has endured,” added Lisa. “What a wonderful way to keep Dave’s legacy alive!” 

Introducing Harriet’s Helping Hands

We are excited to announce Harriet’s Helping Hands, Rolfe’s new patient and family support program. This program, underwritten by a generous gift in honor of Harriet Wulfstat, enables Rolfe to expand upon our “boots on the ground” support services program.  

“Helping newly diagnosed patients and families navigate those initial steps was incredibly important to Harriet,” said Allan Wulfstat, Harriet’s husband of 51 years. “Her conversations with them would help restore some sense of comfort through listening and build their confidence to armor up for the coming battles. It is an honor to carry on Harriet’s legacy in this way. She would be so proud of the work Rolfe is doing in her honor.”  

Allan, along with children Jennifer Wulfstat Gadiel and Matthew Wulfstat, have worked tirelessly through their work as trustees of the Gerald O. Mann Charitable Foundation, focusing on funding the fight against Pancreatic Cancer through early detection research and treatment. Over the past 11 years, their efforts have evolved to also champion personalized support for Pancreatic Cancer patients and their families.   

“As a family, we know how lucky we were to have a strong support team to help us along the way,” said Matthew. “By sharing our experience, we hope to make bigger changes in this world, foster hope, and, just maybe, save more lives.”  

Rachel Sheinkop, former Rolfe Board President, will lead the Harriet’s Helping Hands program as Rolfe’s Community Partnerships and Patient Advocate. With her empathetic style and approach, Rachel will serve as a “hand-holding” guide to expedite the referral process and connect families with the medical teams that can best support their needs.   

“Having lost my mom to Pancreatic Cancer, I know the importance of being there for the whole family,” said Rachel. “I will do my very best to honor Harriet’s legacy. She will always be our North Star.”  

Families are looking to Rachel and the Rolfe team specialized medical referrals, trial information, pain management, nutrition ideas, financial support resources, and more. In the initial months of the program, we’ve been contacted by 17 new families and Rolfe continues to support and advise an additional 24 families.  

While many of these connections are made by a family with whom we’ve helped, others come to Rolfe from a “friend of a friend” and web searches pointing them to Rolfe’s website. Harriet’s Helping Hands will be featured in upcoming social media campaigns to raise awareness about Rolfe’s patient and family support program.  

“Our family values are based on surrounding ourselves with people who bring us joy, love, and strength to start each day with a sense of purpose and energy,” shared Jennifer. “Harriet’s Helping Hands will ensure that people and families affected by Pancreatic Cancer are surrounded and uplifted in this same way.” 

We look forward to honoring Harriet’s legacy as we support and connect families with others. Stay tuned for the next issue of The Catalyst, where we’ll share a Voices of Rolfe tribute article featuring Harriet Wulfstat’s life and legacy. 

DASH for Success

This summer, more than 800 hit Chicago’s Montrose Harbor to support Rolfe’s 2023 DASH for Detection. Over 100 joined virtually to celebrate and honor their loved ones affected by Pancreatic Cancer. The warmth of the beaming sun during our 5K run/walk was second to the warmth felt by the entire Rolfe community. The crowd was filled with many familiar faces who also played a big part in welcoming all of the new ones!  

Welcome New Teams
Anytime Fitness Elma
Jasper Health
Karen’s Krewe
Lori’s Lords & Ladies 

Legacy Teams: 7 Years and Counting
Purple Passion
Team David
Team Megan
Team Turner
The Colleen Claffey Memorial Run
We Love Lucy
Yes We Can 

Many touching stories were shared throughout the day about how meaningful DASH is for patients and their families. These memories and celebrations give added significance to Rolfe’s work, and are the reason Rolfe is able to fund groundbreaking research projects. 

This joint effort between Rolfe and Lustgarten Foundation raised nearly $230,000 to fund Pancreatic Cancer early detection research and patient support. 

Most Dollars Raised
Team Toni – $21,392
The Colleen Claffey Memorial Run – $12,840
Team Uncle Dave – $12,340
Team Andrew and Eric – $9,118
Team Michele! – $7,865 

Most Team Members
Team Toni
Team Megan
Team Uncle Dave
Team Andrew and Eric
Team Michele  

DASH wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing support of Rolfe’s incredible community, partners, Board of Directors, Young Professionals Board (YPB), and the entire Rolfe team. Stay tuned for details about the 2024 DASH for Detection, and in the meantime, check out photos from this year’s DASH!