WOODBURY, Minn. - November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and one family that knows the tragedy of the disease is helping others fighting the same battle.
Amie Muller was a young mother and veteran who died from pancreatic cancer in February. Now the Amie Muller Foundation helps military families affected by the disease. They've assisted four families since March.
One of those is the Brynteson family. Tiffany and Chuck Brynteson, married for 15 years, have three little girls: ages 11, 5 and 4.
The couple had dealt with hardship before - the loss of parents, long distance - but stage 2 pancreatic cancer was one they never expected.
"Because pancreatic cancer is known as a deadly disease and as the oncologist told us right away, there is no cure for it," said Tiffany Brynteson. "He said, 'That's the one thing you need to understand. There is no cure for pancreatic cancer.'"
Chuck, who is undergoing chemo, has lost 90 pounds and was too unwell to give an interview. But his wife wants to share their story, hoping it will help others.
She says Chuck is an assistant fire chief for Minneapolis and served in the Air Force for 20 years. Her 47-year-old husband was healthy and had no family history of cancer.
They weren't expecting the help they got from the Amie Muller Foundation.
"We received this letter and check in the mail and it was surprising," she said. "I showed my husband and I was like, 'Can you believe that someone would do this? They don't even know us.'"
But Amie Muller's family does know the struggle.
Thirty-six-year-old Amie Muller lost her 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer in February. Her family started the foundation with the hope of alleviating some of the stress that comes with fighting cancer.
"Because if Chuck gets to the point where he can't work, we're going to have to rely on that for some other resources, pay for more expensive health insurance and things like that," Brynteson said.
More than just help, Tiffany and Chuck want a cure.
"Because who knows how many people are going to be in the same situation," said Brynteson.
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