Aaron Colwell

“In November of 2016, I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. My wife and I had no idea where to turn. We had two young kids, and I was handed this serious diagnosis at the age of 35. Luckily, someone I worked with had been a Board Member of the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. We talked to their staff and got connected with the top doctors in this field within hours. Having that peace of mind and being able to see the best doctors in Chicago was invaluable.”


Rolfe Foundation has been funding pancreatic cancer early detection research for over two decades. We guide families like The Colwell’s by connecting them with top doctors and experts in the field. We know that timing is everything when treating pancreatic cancer, and by immediately connecting Aaron with our network of doctors, he was able to weigh his options and formulate a plan to combat his disease.

Aaron’s tumor was small enough to be treated effectively with Whipple surgery, and thankfully, the cancer was caught before it spread to other areas of his body. Aaron recognized the importance of finding an early detection tool that could discover the cancer before it reaches its late stages.  

Funding pancreatic cancer early detection research is so important to Aaron “It’s treatable when it’s caught early. Unfortunately, not enough (tumors) are caught when it’s early enough to get ahead of it and do something proactive.” This is one of the key components to Rolfe Foundation’s mission to provide personal support to those affected by pancreatic cancer through tailored resources, connections and education, and funding for early detection research. 

 We understand that pancreatic cancer affects your family, friends and caretakers as well. That’s why we’re there for each of you through diagnosis and treatment, and continue to be there every step of the way. Once you reach out to us for help, we are in this with you and your family.

Aaron continued to stay in touch with the Foundation for everything he needed as he went through his treatment and recovery. He adds, “The Rolfe Foundation connected me with a nutritionist, a support group, and most importantly, they were there for me and my wife for anything we needed. Rolfe Foundation is like a huge family—with the benefit of over 20 years experience—helping others who are going through pancreatic cancer.”

After Aaron was told he was cancer-free, he applied to be an official member of the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. When asked why he was motivated to advocate for our mission, he did not hesitate to say, “Making people’s lives easier when they feel like there’s no hope means everything to them. Rolfe Foundation is there to do that—to provide hope, to provide connections, and to be able to provide resources and support that those patients and caregivers need after they find out about this diagnosis. Rolfe Foundation was there for me, and I want to be able to continue to support it so it’s there for everyone else.”

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"Rolfe Foundation was there for me, and I want to be able to continue to support it so it’s there for everyone else.”

-Aaron Colwell, Pancreatic Cancer Warrior