97-Year-Old Pancreatic Cancer Patient Keeps Fighting With Help From UC Team

Cancer survivor with medical team

Marion Croswell, 97, a pancreatic cancer patient at the Purple Stride Walk in September with her oncologist Olugbenga Olowokure, MD, (aka Dr. Benga), associate professor in the Division of Hematology Oncology at the UC College of Medicine, UC Health oncologist and a member of the UC Cancer Institute. and Syed Ahmad, MD, a College of Medicine faculty member and a UC Health and UC Cancer Institute surgical oncologist.

Marion Croswell, 97, says aside from being a wife and mother to her five children, Croswell VIP Motorcoach Services was her life.

“My father-in-law started the company in 1921, and then my husband took it over; after the kids were out of the house, I joined him, helping to facilitate and organize bus tours and outings,” she says.

Croswell says she was still active and working at the company until Jan. 18, 2016.

“It was actually just a weird situation where I got up in the night to use the restroom and fell and hit my head on the bathtub,” she says. “My kids insisted I go to the hospital to get checked out.”

Croswell went to UC Medical Center because she was well-acquainted with UC Health.

“I’ve been going to Dr. (Gregory) Rouan for 26 years—my whole family goes to him,” she says. “He’s just perfect. He takes no chances when it comes to his patients’ health, so of course I’m going where he is.”
Gregory Rouan, MD, is Gordon and Helen Hughes Taylor Chair in Internal Medicine within the UC College of Medicine and an internal medicine physician at UC Health.

In the emergency department at UC Medical Center, physicians found that Croswell had a fractured neck, which would put her in a neck brace for 6 to 8 weeks, but they also discovered something else.

“I told them that I was having some bowel issues and asked them to check everything out, and that’s when they found the tumor.” Further tests uncovered that Croswell had pancreatic cancer.

“My fall that night was really a blessing in disguise,” she says, adding that Rouan referred her to Olugbenga Olowokure, MD, (aka Dr. Benga), associate professor in the Division of Hematology Oncology at the UC College of Medicine, UC Health oncologist and a member of the UC Cancer Institute.

Olowokure spoke to Croswell who without a doubt knew she wanted to fight the cancer with chemotherapy.

“I couldn’t ask for a better care team,” she says. “Dr. Benga is just the best. He prays with me, and a man of faith, he knows God has a role in this as well. He and Dr. Rouan work so well together, and it’s incredible to have people who really care about you; the nurses and the people at the front desk are great. I receive amazing care from my team.”

Croswell, who says this isn’t her first health issue, as she also has medically-managed congestive heart failure, continues to battle cancer with help from her children Scott, Ellen, Susan, Jane and John, who also help keep the family business up and running.

“I’ll just keep going, and I have complete faith in my team at UC Health—I always have,” she says.
Croswell and her family were a large part of the Purple Stride Walk in September, joining the pancreatic cancer team with Olowokure and Syed Ahmad, MD, a College of Medicine faculty member and a UC Health and UC Cancer Institute surgical oncologist.

“Mrs. Croswell is proof that age is not a barrier,” says Olowokure. “You have to be determined to fight whatever obstacles are in front of you, and she’s doing that. She’s an inspiration to us all.”

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