Colon Cancer Patient Stories

  • Mary Carr

    Colon It sounds like something out of a movie. Although she was under twilight anesthesia, Mary Carr could hear the doctors talking during her colonoscopy in May 2011. "I couldn't feel anything but I heard them talking about the Phillies," Mary recalled. "All of a sudden I hear one of them say, 'There's something there, I can’t go any further.' The other one said, ‘Is it cancer? What range is she? Two to four.' I heard everything. When they wheeled me out, I said to the nurse, 'So I have colon cancer?'" Read more »
  • Connie Jackley

    Connie Jackley

    In 1995, Connie and Michael Jackley experienced life's greatest pain as they lost their only child, Rachel, 21, to cancer. Several years later, when Connie was diagnosed with cancer herself, she did not have the desire to fight. Thankfully, Dr. James Watson, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, entered the picture and inspired her to keep fighting when she felt like she had nothing left to give. He performed multiple surgeries on Connie over the years to keep her alive and well. Connie now considers Dr. Watson a friend.

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  • Maryanne Kipe

    Maryanne Kipe

    Colon Cancer

    The Hatboro-Horsham School District staff are like family to Maryanne Kipe and her husband, Craig. Since 1990, Maryanne has managed the front office at the busy Simmons Elementary School while Craig teaches math at the high school. And just like a real family will encourage you to be on top of your healthcare, Karen Kanter, the principal at Simmons, watched Maryanne like a sister. “When Maryanne turned 50 in 2010, I encouraged her to schedule a colonoscopy,” recalled Karen, who admitted Maryanne was reluctant. Finally, in the summer of 2012, Karen jokingly said she couldn’t leave for the day until she made the appointment. That appointment – and Karen’s persistence – may have saved Maryanne’s life.

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  • Deborah Lech Bowker

    Deborah Lech


    Debbie Lech had always considered herself healthy. She ate well and stayed active, and at 51 was enjoying newly married life with her second husband Claus. But following surgery a few years earlier for pelvic organ prolapse and unbeknownst to her, the surgical repair created a fistula that was slowly becoming infected. (A fistula is an abnormal connection or passageway between two epithelium-lined organs or vessels that normally do not connect.) “I had some spotting which was concerning since I had already undergone a hysterectomy, ” recalled Debbie. "My doctor suspected I had a vaginal infection, but we later learned, it was something more."

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  • Mary Martin

    Mary Martin

    Colon Cancer

    Cancer was an unfortunate fact in Mary Ellen Martin’s family life.  Her mother died of ovarian cancer in 2003, the same year her four-year-old niece Colleen Murphy was diagnosed with leukemia. But when the Mercerville, New Jersey resident started having stomach and bowel issues in 2007 at age 39, cancer didn’t cross her mind.  Her family doctor seems to have been oblivious to the possibility as well.  For more than a year he wasn’t able to determine what was causing Mary to feel bloated all the time.  He attributed the blood in her stools to possible hemorrhoids.

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