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      Dept. of Defense: Helena soldier, 29, dies from pancreatic cancer

      Timothy G. Santos Jr. pictured with his family. (Timothy G. Santos Jr./Facebook)

      A Helena native and soldier fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom has died, the Department of Defense announced today.

      According to a news release, 1st Lt. Timothy G. Santos Jr., 29, died Sunday at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in Texas from a non-combat related illness. ABC 33/40 has since learned Santos, an Apache helicopter pilot for the 1st Armored Division based out of Fort Bliss, Tx., died from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease in March while serving in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

      Santos had been receiving treatment at The John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. before returning to Fort Bliss.

      He is survived by his wife, Karina, and their two young daughters.

      An online fundraiser has been created to help the family pay the medical bills associated with Santos' cancer treatments. Click here for more information.

      Funeral services will be held September 28 in Fort Bliss.

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