Lou Ciaverelli

Pancreatic Cancer Patient Stories

Lou Ciaverelli

Lou Ciaverelli, a loyal Sixers season ticket holder for over 37 years

Louis Ciaverelli didn’t have time to get sick, much less for cancer. He was operating his own business, Top of the Line Cosmetic and Fragrance Company in New Jersey. Then, in early September of 2000, Lou learned he had pancreatic cancer.

"As soon as I heard it was pancreatic cancer, I knew I needed to find the best treatment if I wanted to survive," explained Lou. "After doing some research to find the top surgeon in this field, I decided to see Dr. John Hoffman at Fox Chase Cancer Center," said Lou.

Weeks later, Dr. Hoffman successfully performed the "whipple" procedure on Lou. This procedure can selectively be performed on patients with pancreatic cancer. Dr. Hoffman removed the head of the pancreas, some of the small intestine and a portion of the bile duct. Dr. Hoffman then rebuilt Lou's digestive tract. As a final step, Lou underwent chemotherapy at Fox Chase and radiation therapy near his home to prevent the cancer from recurring.

"The nursing staff helped us keep a positive attitude."

Following his surgery, Lou spent 10 days as an inpatient at Fox Chase. He explained, "I was very impressed with the attentiveness of the nursing staff, in particular Marie Riehl; the hospital staff; and Dr. Hoffman's daily and sometimes twice a day monitoring. The compassionate care I received was instrumental in helping me and my wife, Betty, maintain a very positive attitude. I felt the overall hospital facility was excellent."

"It has been more than 10 years since my treatment at Fox Chase [September 2000] and I have no recurrence of the cancer. I attribute my success story to Dr. Hoffman's surgical skills, as well as my medical oncologist and my radiation therapist," said Lou.

"Fox Chase gave me a second chance."

Lou is grateful to the staff at Fox Chase for giving him a second chance. "Betty and I have a wonderful marriage, two successful sons and four special grandchildren. I continue to work full time operating my business, work out physically twice a week, and played tennis up until recently when other medical complications occurred, unrelated to my previous cancer," said Lou. He continued, "Generally, I have a very happy and healthy life and look forward to many years of the same."