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Kidney Cancer Patient Stories

Thomas Vanella

Kidney Cancer

Thomas Vanella

Kidney Cancer

When the urologist did an MRI, he found that instead of a cyst, it was a tumor on the kidney and he suggested I have my kidney removed. I was not too sure about having it completely removed and a cousin who had been working for Fox Chase for over 40 years suggested I get a second opinion with a doctor there.

Thomas Nixon

Kidney Cancer

Thomas Nixon

Kidney Cancer

I never expected what I heard, that my cancer was aggressive. I went back to my primary care doctor and asked if I should get a second opinion. He told me I should, so I was referred to Dr. Alexander Kutikov, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center. This was all during the time that COVID-19 was beginning to ramp up in the United States. I was concerned that my surgery would be rescheduled or even canceled.

Charlie Smithgall

Kidney Cancer

Charlie Smithgall

Kidney Cancer

"Although cancer is not the news I was expecting to hear, I’m able to see the silver lining in how things worked out the way they did. "

Barry Taitelman

Kidney Cancer

Barry Taitelman

Kidney Cancer

Becoming a grandfather was something I had been looking forward to for years. But just before I learned that my daughter-in-law was pregnant, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer. I couldn’t bear the thought of getting to know my grandson and then not getting to be there to watch him grow up.

Al De Carlo

Kidney Cancer

Al De Carlo

Kidney Cancer

Now that I’m 74 and retired, I spend most of my time outside or in the garage. Since my service in the Navy, where I worked as a ship fitter, taking care of the plumbing and mechanical issues, I’ve always been fascinated with machines and how they work. So for me, as crazy as it seems to my wife, working outside, tinkering with machines, and splitting wood, isn’t hard work – it’s my playtime.

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