Marion Evans - Patient Story
“I wanted to go to Fox Chase because if it turned out to be cancer, that is the best place to be.”
— Marion Evans, Kidney Patient
Marion Evans and his wife, Terri Rinaldi-Evans, truly appreciate the quiet beauty surrounding their home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. That’s because they spent most of their life working in the music industry in New York City. Marion is a veteran music arranger and composer, and Terri, an accomplished singer and a former Miss Alabama (and Miss America finalist). So when Marion learned he had a growth on his kidney 2006 at the age of 80, he could have easily traveled to New York for treatment. But Fox Chase Cancer Center was recommended by some friends. He made the call that changed his life.
“When I called Fox Chase for an appointment with a kidney specialist, the receptionist told me that another patient had just canceled an appointment with Dr. Uzzo two seconds before,” recalled Marion, who took the open slot. “I did my research and learned I was going to be seeing one of the country’s top kidney surgeons.”
Before making the call to Fox Chase, Marion saw several specialists who all agreed that the best option would be to remove the kidney. “I wanted to go to Fox Chase because if it turned out to be cancer, that is the best place to be.” When Marion arrived at Fox Chase, he met Robert G. Uzzo, MD, FACS, chairman of surgical oncology at Fox Chase and a world-renowned kidney surgeon.
“Dr. Uzzo became one of my favorite doctors immediately,” shared Marion. “He explained exactly what to expect. Before I knew it, the surgery was over. I sailed through it.”
Dr. Uzzo performed a laparoscopic nephrectomy, which is a procedure to remove the kidney. Although he specializes in partial nephrectomy, in which the organ is salvaged, it is occasionally not an option. In Marion’s case, the entire kidney was removed using scopes. The pathology results arrived, and as Dr. Uzzo had suspected, the tumor was malignant.
“I felt grateful to be in such good hands at Fox Chase,” admitted Marion. He recovered from surgery and was relieved to learn that further treatment was not required. “Dr. Uzzo removed the tumor so the cancer was gone.”
Marion continued to be seen by Dr. Uzzo annually for five years. In 2011, he hit the five-year mark at the age of 85 and was officially cured of cancer.
Now, if you think Marion sat back to enjoy retirement, you are mistaken. A native of Goodwater, Alabama, Marion was born with music in his blood. This trumpet-player served in the Marine Corps in World War II and when he returned, Marion went to the Julliard School in New York City on the GI Bill - An incredible career was born.
Marion composed songs for some of the most accomplished entertainers, including Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Judy Garland, Eydie Gormé and Steve Lawrence, Sammy Davis, Jr., Perry Como, Helen O’Connell, Carole King, Tony Bennett and many more. Marion wrote arrangements for 65 gold records and 17 television shows including the closing theme for “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson; and orchestrated 11 Broadway shows.
In 2011, Tony Bennett collaborated with Marion on his platinum-selling, Grammy-winning album, called “Duets II,” which featured “The Lady Is a Tramp” performed with Lady GaGa.
“I couldn’t figure out how Lady GaGa would do a song like this,” shared Marion. “But she’s a fabulous musician. She walks right in, picks up the music, hears the track one time and the next time, that’s it. One take. She was fantastic.”
This duo worked so well together, that Bennett and GaGa decided to produce a big-band jazz album together, with Marion arranging the music. “I’ll have to fit this into my busy schedule!” added Marion, who teaches music at Arcadia University in Glenside every other Saturday.
“Cancer didn’t stop me,” said Marion. “I am extremely grateful to Dr. Uzzo for the quality care I received at Fox Chase. I sailed through treatment and got back to business.”