Edward Babiarz

Kidney Cancer Patient Stories

Renal Cell Carcinoma
Edward Babiarz

Ed (right) and his husband, Tim.

Ed Babiarz felt as though he was free falling. It was June 7, 2011, he about looking forward to celebrating his 50th birthday that October. Ed got a call at work from his doctor with upsetting news. He had recently undergone a CAT Scan to diagnosis numbness in his leg. To everyone's surprise, the test revealed revealed a tumor on Ed's left kidney.  “The word 'cancer' brought with it feelings of disbelief, despair and a total loss of control,” recalls Ed. “That was followed by fear, anger, resentment and then, finally, hope became vocabulary in my cancer journey.”

Ed decided to get a second opinion at Fox Chase.

From the start, Ed was proactive in his approach to managing the disease. After consulting with a urologist who recommended surgery at his local hospital, Ed decided to get a second opinion.

“My partner Tim immediately began to research the best facilities to go to for treatment and he found Dr. Uzzo at Fox Chase Cancer Center,” says Ed. “Dr. Uzzo’s outstanding professional abilities and personal treatment philosophy seemed to be the best match for me. A referral was made and I had an appointment very quickly.”

Robert G. Uzzo, MD, FACS, is chief of surgical oncology at Fox Chase. He is world-renowned for treating patients with kidney cancer, often with minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Uzzo feels strongly about salvaging the organ if at all possible, in order to retain function and quality of life. The initial visit with Dr. Uzzo revealed that the best approach for Ed’s tumor was to perform a partial nephrectomy using robotic surgery. Surgery was performed two weeks later and after a two-day stay, Ed went home to recover.  

Edward Babiarz

Ed and Tim on their wedding day.

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

“The compassionate, professional care I received from the entire treatment team at Fox Chase went beyond any expectations that I had," recalls Ed. "A special mention of the nursing staff should be noted. There was absolutely nothing that I needed or wanted. They anticipated everything. I could not have been in better hands.”

With the support of Tim and his friends, Ed recovered fully and came to terms terms with his diagnosis. His initial six-month follow-up with Dr. Uzzo showed no recurrence and were followed by annual check-ups. 

"Dr. Uzzo and all the terrific people who work at Fox Chase treat their patients with utmost kindness and compassion."

“Since my relationship began with Fox Chase, I have been asked by friends who are now facing cancer, or by complete strangers who may know someone facing cancer, about my experience. I can honestly tell anyone 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 to help a person with cancer deal with their unique circumstances, Fox Chase is it."

Throughout his treatment, the numbness in Ed's thigh was not resolved. “The numbness in my thigh is still there," admits Ed, who was grateful it was there and caused him to seek medical treatment. "Without that symptom, my cancer may not have been detected. I can live with it and am ever so thankful that my cancer was cured.”

In 2015, Ed and his partner Tim Greusel, were married 31 years to the day of their meeting. "I would not have been able to realize my wedding if it were not for Dr. Uzzo's expertise and the fantastic care that I received from the team of professionals at Fox Chase," shares Ed. "Experiencing cancer is something that definitely changes one's perspective on the length of time we have on this planet and I am much more personally appreciative of each and every moment that I have been given to continue on."