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Widower returns to school to beat the cancer that killed his wife

By Mike Rossi     Sep 2, 2014 in Health
Edmonton - When 60-year-old American, Powel Crosley, lost his wife to cancer in 2009, he didn't dwell on the pain of future years lost.
Instead, Mr. Crosley continued the battle his wife fought for 13 years against the disease that ultimately claimed her life by enrolling as an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta.
Now in his fourth year studying biochemistry and oncology, the white haired man commonly mistaken as a professor shows no signs of slowing down.
In fact, he recently received $60,000 in funding to keep studying the specific cancer — granulosa cell tumour of the ovary — responsible for killing his wife, Sladjana Crosley.
"Her motto was: the answer lies in the lab. She was pretty persistent about things she believed in. And so I'm just basically completing her mission," said Crosley in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Crosley met his future wife at a job interview in Tennessee. Following her hire, the two quickly bonded and enjoyed their first date a few months later.
It wasn't until 1996 when Sladjana first discovered the illness — Doctors found a mass inside her abdomen and diagnosed it as GCT or granulosa cell tumour of the ovary, a rare form of cancer that only afflicts about five percent of ovarian cancer patients.
Though doctors removed the tumor, the growth returned some time later.
For years, Sladjana and Powel lived a cyclical nightmare of surgery followed by wait-and-see until 2009 when there was nothing left for physicians to do.
Since then, Powel Crosley has worked tirelessly to keep his wife's motto — "The answer lies in the lab" — in mind.
Currently, he's working on a research project testing a breakthrough drug developed at the University of Illinois to better understand its applicability for GCT.
For more information on Powel Crosley's efforts or GCT, visit his foundation's website here.
More about Cancer, Powel Crosley, Widower, College, university of alberta
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