Kimberly Stoll-French’s uncle died six weeks after his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

She now knows a short prognosis is common among patients who develop the disease.

“It is not one of the more well-known cancers, and unfortunately there aren’t many survivors,” Stoll-French said.

The stay-at-home mom took action by volunteering with the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. She now leads the Seattle chapter.

The national organization will put on the third annual Pints 4 Purple fundraiser this year, and Monroe is one of the few locations in the country with a participating business.

Dreadnought Brewing is also the first, and so far only, location in Washington. Others are scattered throughout Colorado and California, Stoll-French said. The local establishment is well known for giving back to the community, she said.

“I just love that place,” Stoll-French said.

Stoll-French is searching for more support. She hopes to bring other Monroe and Sky Valley breweries and restaurants on board.

The foundation will receive $1 for every pint sold during the local event on Saturday, Nov. 10. It is also a chance to bring more awareness to pancreatic cancer.

The disease is very hard to detect in its early stages, according to the foundation. In recent years, studies have shown it impacts people between the ages of 18 and 85, though it was recently found to be on the rise in younger people. About 50,000 adults are expected to have pancreatic cancer each year, and men and women are equally susceptible.

African-Americans make up 52 percent of that population, according to the foundation. White people make up 37 percent, and Hispanic people make up 10 percent.

The pancreas sits behind the stomach, and it helps with digestion.

The cancer is difficult to diagnose.

“This is because there are no specific, cost-effective screening tests that can easily and reliably find early-stage pancreatic cancer in people who have no symptoms,” according to the foundation. “This means it is often not found until later stages when the cancer can no longer be removed with surgery and has spread from the pancreas to other parts of the body.”

About 28 percent of people survive a year after their diagnosis, according to the foundation. About 7 percent survive five years.

Stoll-French said her uncle played a significant role in her childhood. He was the fun, beloved uncle. She and her brothers would have sleepovers at his house and go on adventures together.

“He was a big part of our life, and I know that we were a big part of his,” she said.

Stoll-French’s uncle was married for 25 years. The couple raised two kids together.

He had gone to the doctor six months before he was diagnosed because he had pancreatitis, and the doctors didn’t find anything, she said. Then he started losing weight and not feeling well, she said.

“He just deteriorated very quickly, and then just passed away really painfully,” Stoll-French said.

Stoll-French’s friend had told her shortly before about a former boss who didn’t live long after he was diagnosed. She told Stoll-French to go visit her uncle as soon as she could.

“There aren’t words that can describe when you see someone you love shouting out, asking for help,” she said. “It was a very emotional, very painful process. I know there are other people going through that.”

Family history does increase someone’s risk for developing the disease, according to the foundation. Smoking, second-hand smoke and weight also are known to play a role.

Stoll-French said she got involved in the Seattle chapter because she felt it was her way of taking control of what felt like a helpless situation. The national organization assists patients and their families with financial support, she said.

The foundation also reports being able to help with patient advocacy and education. The programs are funded solely by individual donors.

November is pancreatic cancer awareness month, according to the foundation. World Pancreatic Cancer Day is Nov. 15, Stoll-French said. Establishments are encouraged to coordinate an event along with the occasion, but it is not required.

Stoll-French said businesses have the flexibility to pick a day that works for them. She can be contacted at kimberly@npcf.us. People can also donate by visiting npcf.us.