Edward Babiarz - Patient Story

"The compassionate, professional care I received at Fox Chase went beyond any expectations that I had."
‐Edward Babiarz

My perspective on life completely changed when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had just turned 50, and the word ‘cancer' itself brought feelings of disbelief, despair, and a total loss of control. Those feelings were quickly followed by fear, anger, and resentment.

Eventually, however, hope became part of my vocabulary in my cancer journey.

I was diagnosed with kidney cancer in June 2011 when a CAT scan revealed a tumor on my left kidney. My local doctor ordered the scan because of the numbness I was experiencing in my left leg. The urologist at my local hospital recommended surgery, but I wanted a second opinion before moving ahead with that recommendation.

 My partner, Tim, immediately began to research the best facilities and physicians for treatment. Tim found Robert G. Uzzo, MD, FACS, chief of surgical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, and we immediately reached out for an appointment with him.

Ed and Tim on their wedding day.
Ed and Tim on their wedding day.

Dr. Uzzo’s outstanding professional abilities and personal treatment philosophy seemed to be the best match for me. At my initial visit with Dr. Uzzo, he recommended a partial nephrectomy using a robot-assisted surgical procedure t to remove just the cancerous portion of my kidney. Two weeks later, I had the surgery and was back home in 2 days to begin my recovery.

I received compassionate, professional care from the entire treatment team at Fox Chase, care that went beyond any expectations that I had. The nursing staff anticipated everything, and there was absolutely nothing that I needed or wanted. I could not have been in better hands.

I made a full recovery after surgery, and there was no evidence of disease at my initial 6-month follow-up with Dr. Uzzo. Now I return to Fox Chase each year for a check-up. The numbness in my thigh is still there, but I’m grateful that it was there in 2011 because it prompted me to seek medical treatment. Without that symptom, my cancer perhaps would not have been detected. I can live with the numbness and am ever so thankful for the successful treatment at Fox Chase.

Since my relationship began with Fox Chase, I have been asked by friends who are facing cancer about my experience. I honestly tell them that Dr. Uzzo and all the terrific people who work at Fox Chase—from the greeter at the information desk, to the nurses, to the anesthesiologist—treat their patients with utmost kindness and compassion. If there is a place that can help a person with cancer deal with their unique circumstances, Fox Chase is it.

Tim and I married 31 years to the day that we first met and 4 years after my surgery for cancer. I would not have been able to realize my wedding if not for Dr. Uzzo’s expertise and the fantastic care that I received from the team of professionals at Fox Chase.

For many years, I have been a paper artist and a member of the Guild of Papermakers, as well as other organizations dedicated to papermaking. I consider my art my voice, a voice that comes from the power that moves people to think, act, or react to it. I create to explore the release of thought and emotion.

After my surgery and subsequent healing, I wanted to show my deep appreciation for the treatment, care, and compassion I received, and so I decided to donate two pieces I had completed to Fox Chase. My hope is that this artwork will bring a sense of peace and inspiration to those who see them. 

Tim and Ed in 2015 pictured on Fox Chase's campus.
Tim and Ed in 2015 pictured on Fox Chase's campus.