Joe Lebherz

Pancreatic Cancer

Thanks For Your Support!

Mr. Joseph Edward “Joe” Lebherz, 66, of Frederick, passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2019. He was married for 36 years to Eileen Rafferty, who predeceased him in May, 2015. Together, they bore and raised three children, who survive them both.

Joe was driven in life by new ideas and problem solving. Even though he spent the majority of his working life in an office setting, he loved hard work and physical labor. He had a passion for poetry, especially that by Robert Frost, for art and architecture, for music of all kinds…. Click for full Obituary

Joe Lebherz's Bio

TREATMENT UPDATE (Nov. 26, 2018).   On November 15, 2018, Joe entered a Phase 2 Clinical Trial at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.  The trial will study the effectiveness of incorporating immunotherapy into the treatment of pancreatic cancer.  Joe has been placed in a study group that receives chemotherapy plus immunotherapy.  The treatment is intense with a wide range of potential side effects.  Joe feels fortunate to be eligible for this trial.  At this time of Thanksgiving, he is also immensely grateful for the financial support (and other types) shown by his extended family and friends to the account created by the Patty Pollatos Fund in his name.  Your continued support will be greatly appreciated.

Joe was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early April, 2018.  He is under the care of a team of physicians at Johns Hopkins Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center.  The treatment plan includes four months or more of chemotherapy, a surgical procedure (Whipple) to remove the tumor, two months of recuperation, and chemotherapy for two plus months following surgery and recuperation.

This past December, Joe completed twelve years of work with Mount St. Mary’s University, with plans to work as an independent contractor/consultant and to initiate projects to enhance the vitality and cultural life of the community he loves.  The first symptoms of the as-yet undiagnosed cancer slowed his search for new work; the ultimate diagnosis and treatment plan left him unable to work, a condition that will persist through the treatment regimen.  As a consequence of the unexpected loss of income, meeting his financial obligations has become a challenge.

In May of 2015, after 36 years of marriage, Joe’s wife, Eileen, passed away from complications resulting from lung cancer.  Their three children, now all in the 20’s, are establishing their own independent lives.  Since the birth of their first child in December, 1990, Eileen stopped working to devote herself to raising a family, while Joe worked to support the growing family.  Due to various health challenges, including breast cancer, Eileen never returned to work; raising her three children was her life’s achievement and legacy.

Prior to his work with the Mount, Joe worked for nine years for US Representative Beverly Byron, most of that time as District Administrator for the Sixth Congressional District of Maryland, followed by 11+ years as President & CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.

He knows that there are many whose situations and whose needs are more dire than his; see the stories on the Pollatos web site, for instance.  He also knows firsthand how life can turn a person upside down at times, creating an unplanned gap in a person’s life, for which the Patty Pollatos Fund exists.  If the generosity of some can ameliorate his financial worries during his treatment, he will be grateful.  He will be most pleased, however, if excess monies raised can help the many who still need help.  The cause is a worthy one.