Bob Lyons was enjoying a snow day with his wife and kids a couple of years ago when he crashed his sled.
The next day his felt pain in his stomach that just wouldn’t go away. Soon the Marlton, New Jersey man developed an array of gastroenterological problems including a constant feeling of being full and various digestive issues.
Bob then went to his doctor and was sent to the local hospital, but subsequently sent home with medication for indigestion.
A week later, with no relief from the symptoms, Bob went to a specialist – a gastroenterologist – and was referred to Jefferson for a consultation with surgeon Charles J. Yeo, MD, FACS, the Samuel D. Gross Profession and Chair of Surgery at the Hospitals.
Bob had a tumor – duodenal cancer – that apparently dislodged in the sledding accident and was pressing against his pancreas causing his symptoms.
Dr. Yeo had a plan of action that would include a Whipple procedure to remove the tumor.
But Bob’s journey had just begun.
After he recovered from his surgery, he would begin a course of chemotherapy under the care of medical oncologist Nancy L. Lewis, MD of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.
“After my first chemo visit, I was talking with my wife,” Bob says, “I couldn’t believe how many people were there going through the same experience I was having. We wanted to try to help people who are going through this.”
He recalls how his nurse during the chemotherapy, Anne Markham, CRNP, had suggested that it was important for him to keep busy during the months of treatment. So Bob and his wife decided to raise money to help so they formed the Keatley Foundation. The name comes from the street sign where he lives.
“The sign that I started my road to recovery was every morning gaining strength to take a few more steps towards that street sign on the corner,” Bob says. “I will continue to fight this disease and help others in their battle. Help me in the fight for the cure!”
On Sunday November 4, the Foundation will be holding Cruz’in for the Cure Motorcycle Run and on Wednesday November 14 an evening of Comedy for a Cause. For more information on these events visit the Foundation’s Facebook Events page, or its website to make a donation to benefit Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center.