Christine Hanover has led a long and successful accounting career as an audit partner focused on clients in the health care and non-profit worlds. So when she joined Rolfe’s Board in 2008, it is no wonder she went on to become the Foundation’s Treasurer. What connected Chris to Rolfe’s mission is of greater significance.
Like many of Rolfe’s Board Members and staff, Chris has a personal connection with the disease. In 2001, Chris’s mom, Julie Chinlund, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her doctors initially thought she had diabetes, but when she turned jaundiced, they ran tests that found a tumor at the base of her pancreas.
Julie was living in Central Illinois at the time and was lucky that her doctor was well-versed in pancreatic cancer. He looked at her test results and right away told her he could help and would perform the Whipple procedure. She was 81 at the time and decided she didn’t need a second opinion. This “true fighter,” as Christine refers to her mom, spent a month in the hospital, fighting her way through the diagnosis, radiation, chemo, and medication. She had a zest for life and wouldn’t let this disease take that away from her. Julie lived for 3-1/2 more years before her cancer returned, and she lost her battle.
“I really wish I had known about Rolfe when my mom was battling pancreatic cancer,” said Chris. “It is a fantastic sounding board that helps families understand the diagnosis, treatment, and options, and provides them with the help and resources they need along the way.”
This article was written by Rolfe contributor Erin Kuhn-Krueger