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National Pancreatic

Cancer Foundation

About 64,050 people (33,130 men and 30,920 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. About 50,550 people (26,620 men and 23,930 women) will die of pancreatic cancer.

We believe the current statistics
are NOT acceptable

We too have lost loved ones to this devastating disease. Together, we can take a
stand against pancreatic cancer.

The NPCF Mission.

The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation (NPCF) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009. We provide unwavering support to patients touched by pancreatic cancer. We work to provide a longer and better quality of life, to people affected by pancreatic cancer.
Through our volunteers, we provide an opportunity to care for those afflicted by this devastating disease. We help family members to find support and community while they join the fight.
Pancreatic Cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the United States. There is no known cure, however, there are new developments every day.

NPCF Vision.

Our vision is to preserve life, provide personal support, and assistance to people diagnosed or at high risk for pancreatic cancer.
Whether you are in need of patient advocacy, education, or direct financial assistance, we are here to support you.
The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation is funded by donations only. Will you help us support more patients in thier fight?
Great Nonprofits recognized NPCF as one of the best non-profit organizations in the nation in 2021. We could not be more honored.
Thank you to everyone who shared their stories and those who continue to fight, be hopeful, and support the NPCF in our mission.

Meet The NPCF Team

Our dedicated staff has one goal: to provide the highest level of care to pancreatic cancer patients. With an emphasis on teamwork, our leaders help organize volunteers and events across the country to raise funds and advocate for Our Warriors

Rhonda Williams

Founder/National Director

Rhonda’s passion for assisting those with pancreatic cancer comes from losing a family member to this disease in January of 2010, after a 5-year battle.
Rhonda’s goal is to provide personal and compassionate support to those who are affected by pancreatic cancer through our core programs.
Contact Rhonda: [email protected]


Trevor Williams

Director of Operations

Since September 2017, Trevor Williams has been a volunteer at The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, where he currently serves as the Director of Operations. In addition to providing administrative support and networking to increase awareness and funding for the organization's mission, Trevor also contributes to the NPCF race team by transporting cars and performing maintenance. His passion for helping others is evident not only in his work with NPCF but also in his profession as a PEMF technician, where he aids those with multiple ailments in finding relief.

Mallory Christiansen

Mallory Christiansen

Administrative Assistant

Mallory has been an administrative assistant at NPCF since July 2023. She grew up on her family's farm/ranch in western Nebraska. Mallory is currently a junior at Chadron State College majoring in Business Administration with options in accounting and finance. She is new to the Rapid City area and resides there with her husband and beagle. She loves to travel, hike, bake, and spend time with her family. 

Mallory is honored to be a part of the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, and to help pancreatic cancer patients in their time of need. 

Our Board of Directors

Our dedicated staff has one goal: to provide the highest level of care to pancreatic cancer patients. With an emphasis on teamwork, our leaders help organize volunteers and events across the country to raise funds and advocate for Our Warriors

Matthew Hiddle

Board Chair

Matthew is a graduate of Metropolitan State College of Denver (now Metro State University) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. He has over 10 years of management experience as a small business owner and entrepreneur since 2014.
Matthew experienced pancreatic cancer firsthand when his father-in-law was diagnosed in 2011. Miraculously, Matthew’s father-in-law is still with us and cancer-free!
The pain and financial struggle that affects the entire family hits close to home with Matthew. He is dedicated to serving those who face this daily battle with their loved ones.


Claudine Starbuck-Jaksch

Board Secretary

Claudine is a Colorado native with a degree in Business and Marketing from CU Boulder. Claudine is married and has two children. One of her children is attending Colorado State University in Ft. Collins in the Pre-Vet program. The other child is a senior in High School and is hoping to attend the University of Rochester in New York.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2013, after undergoing a bilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy she is now cancer-free.
Claudine is dedicated to the fight against cancer in any form. She has found healing therapy in horses and plans to compete in Endurance.


Kim Swaney

Board Treasurer

Kim grew up in a military family, frequently moving from place to place until she was 12 years old. Kim has an older sister, and a special needs little brother who has since passed.
Settling in Colorado was a blessing where she met her husband of 29 years, Chris. Together they are raising 3 beautiful, smart, and talented daughters.
Kim is compassionate and heart-centered. Her life and professional experiences with children solidify her passion for spending life dedicated to the well-being of children and young adults.
Kim has worked professionally in banking, retail, childcare, veterinary assistant, property inspection, and preservation. Kim is a wealth of experience with nonprofit volunteer positions.
In her spare time, Kim likes to spend quality time with her family and friends traveling and creating life experiences.
Inspired by nonprofit work Kim founded and directs an organization called Happiness Through Horses. Being philanthropic at heart, Kim believes strongly in collaboration and being involved with various ways to be of service to other people with challenges in life.


Chris Parrish

Board Member

Christina Parrish is a 14 year survivor of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Her tenacity and will to live provided her to overcome this deadly cancer, and she is here to share her journey with whomever needs or wants to hear it. Christina’s fight set her out on a path that came with the founding The Purple Iris Foundation in YEAR. Christina spends a good amount of her time dedicated to being an advocate for second opinions and clinical trials. In 2017, she won the Amanda Dempsey Award. (Named in memory of Patrick Dempsey’s mother Amanda Dempsey, the award is presented to a cancer survivor who has a passion for helping Mainers with cancer.) In her spare time Christina Co-hosts Maine Cancer Crusader Chicks, and hosts and virtual support group for those pancreatic cancer patients in need. Her compassion for cancer patients is a level above because she knows what it is like to face death and conquer it!


Tim Zeman

Board Member

Tim Zeman is Owner/Operator of Tribe Networking and Find Free Fun. Tribe Networking is the fastest growing business networking group organization in Colorado. Find Free Fun is a website and social media platform that features all the cheap and free things to do in Denver. Both businesses are currently expanding to Phoenix then across the nation. Previously, Tim worked as a Publisher for 8 newspapers in Colorado. In addition, Tim has over 30 years experience in Advertising and Marketing with a focus on small businesses. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Adverting and PR from the University of Arkansas Little Rock.
My wife Linda Rome-Matingly passed away due to Pancreatic Cancer on June 25, 2018 after bravely fighting this horrible disease for 5-months. Linda and I went to Jr. High and High School together. After high school we went our separate ways and each married and had children in our first marriages. We reconnected when I moved back to Colorado in 2010.
We started dating in 2010 and started to begin an unbelievable relationship. When I lost Linda in 2018 I lost 3 important people in my life. I lost my best friend, my lover and my wife.
After she passed I met Mathew Hiddle who introduced me to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. I told him at the time I wanted to keep Linda’s spirit alive. We discussed how terrible this disease is and how helpless you become watching a loved one die a little every day. Mathew then told me about doing a Pints 4 Purple to raise money for support and research. Linda and I just happened to have a very good friend that had just opened a brewery a year prior to Linda getting sick. Landlocked Ales agreed to help with the event and even brews a beer for that day in her name.


Debbie Ellerton

Board Member

Debbie grew up in ND and graduated from High School in Aberdeen, SD. She moved to Custer, SD and worked for the Forest Service for 14 years in administrative positions. (Custer, Boxelder Job Corps, and in Rapid City). She then worked for the Rapid City Area Schools as Administrative Assistant. In 1993 she had an opportunity to transfer to the City of Rapid City, Parks Division until 2012 when she retired. She is now a Real Estate Appraiser and the Executive Secretary for the ND Appraisers Association.
She has been teaching dance in the Rapid City Area since 1993.
She loves to travel, go on hikes and walks, spend time with her family and of course – Dance!
Debbie married Mark Ellerton from Custer in 1972. They had two sons (Shane and Gabe). She has two grandchildren – Catreana and Kaidan. Mark Ellerton passed away in September 2013 of Pancreatic Cancer at the young age of 61.
Debbie has volunteered numerous hours with Scouting Programs, Youth Dance Programs, and many organizations including the annual Black Hills Dance Festival.
I am honored to be a part of the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. I will be an advocate and support the mission of this amazing organization.

Professional Affiliations

  • - Professional Appraisers Association of SD
  • - North Dakota Appraisers Association
  • - Wyoming and Western SD Chapter of Appraisal Institute
  • - Dance Instructor for the Rapid City Area Schools Community Education Program
  • - Member of National Teachers Association and American Callers Association
  • - 2005 Leadership Rapid City Graduate
  • - Officer positions for Noon-Time Thunder Toastmasters
  • - President and Event Director of the Black Hills Dance Festival
  • - Member of Women’s Network

Elsie Sue

Therapy Dog

Elsie joined the NPCF team in January of 2018, she spent her first six months in obedience training. She continued her education to become an official therapy dog. Elsie travels with us to all our events and is very intuitive and sensitive to the people around her. Saying she is smart is an understatement. In her downtime Elsie likes to chase her sister Dixie, chew on bully sticks, she loves boating, taking walks and making people smile with her antics.

Honorary Board Members

We remember those that have helped NPCF find its routes. Our honorary board members have made a lasting impact on our organization and on the pancreatic cancer community. Their legacy continues to help us grow and provide assistance to more families every year.

Judy Hatfield

Judy Hatfield fought a brave battle against pancreatic cancer from October 2004 to January 2010.

She is the motivation behind the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundations’ development and ongoing mission to assist those battling pancreatic cancer and their families.
We honor Judy every day in our passion and vision to create more awareness and assistance for pancreatic cancer.

John Chubby Cardello

John "Chubby" Cardello

John Cardello was diagnosed in May 2011, just 2 short months after saying goodbye to his mother, and 1 month after losing his mother-in-law, who loved him like a son.

John, known as ‘Chubby’ to his family and close friends, was 68, strong, and healthy.

He rarely missed work, was active, and very hardworking.

His mother was ahead of her time when it came to nutrition for her family.  She was juicing in the 60’s and had her boys put tablespoons of wheat germ in their orange juice.”

John never had any significant health problems, and his only complaint was his stomach due to excessive belching.

It was this symptom, followed by an endoscopy and elevated bilirubin levels that eventually led to his diagnosis.

“We headed to Sloan with him, remaining positive because if anyone could have a recovery after a Whipple, it would be him.”


Unfortunately, that day they learned there were 2 spots on his liver, and he had stage IV pancreatic cancer. His Whipple procedure was canceled, and he was to begin chemo immediately.

In addition, due to the position of the tumor, his biliary duct was being blocked causing elevated bilirubin, resulting in jaundice and horrible generalized itching. A stent was placed in order to relieve this.

John responded to chemo well; his body was strong, and his attitude remained both positive and determined.  He stayed active and continued to enjoy his beach house and handyman projects.

“Dad was a truck driver blessed with a gift in carpentry and the ability to figure out how to fix just about anything, including cars! He was a true perfectionist as well as a frustrated Mets and Jets fan, but he still enjoyed watching them play.”

John’s 3-year battle consisted of several stent replacements, several blood transfusions, and he was no longer able to enjoy his meals.

The chemotherapy had debilitated his body, and seven months prior to his passing, he became septic to the point that they almost lost him. Still, John managed to remain emotionally strong for his family.

By January 2014, although he stayed active, his legs began to swell, and blood clots formed in his legs.  John’s body was tiring, and he began to verbalize what he felt the plans should be after he was gone.

John was hospitalized a few times over the next couple of months and by the end of March, a hospital bed was placed in the living room. Although John remained strong, he began to develop ascites which made it difficult for him to breathe. His legs had become so swollen that they began weeping and it became too difficult for him to get out of bed.

The once big, strong, handsome, healthy man who worked his whole life to provide for and take care of his family, was now weak and deteriorating before their eyes. John was a man who was respected for his honesty and wisdom.  He was a man people would go to for sound advice. John lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on 4/21/14, after spending Easter with his family and eating his last Easter pie, made by his youngest son.

“Never once did I hear him really complain, except for the early on itching. My father was a true warrior during his 3-year battle.  It beat his body but not his strong spirit. He is truly missed ”

Thank you to all of John’s family for being brave enough to share the raw truth of pancreatic



Rich Graff

Rich was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on September 13th, 2013 and he had the Whipple surgery.

Rich navigated chemotherapy and radiation. The cancer was “in check” and things were looking good by November of 2014.
During his recovery, Rich began researching organizations to support people with Pancreatic cancer. He discovered the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation and got in touch with Rhonda.
From there he developed a friendship with Rhonda and a passion to support NPCF. Rich volunteered at many fundraising events and handed out brochures.
He would tell people to get in touch with NPCF for assistance and support. Rich even put the organization’s logo on the back of his RV.
He was willing to help in any way he could. We honor his spirit by helping people find resources in as many ways as we can.
Sadly, in November of 2016, Rich learned his cancer had returned and passed away on January 20th, 2017 after a brave fight.

Become A Volunteer Today

Volunteers power the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation’s cause. We always need help organizing, event coordination, and spreading awareness to raise funds. This helps us to reach more people in need.