ITALY — When Suzzy Crowell met and married her husband, Steven, she had no idea they would one day return to live in his home town of Italy, Texas, but that is exactly what happened.
They fell in love and married in 1980. Then they were blessed with two children, Lindsey and Thomas. Several years later they decided to build a home in Italy so Thomas could attend Italy schools just like his dad had done.
The Crowells have had a good life, but they have seen their share of trials just like many of the people they know. The way they have learned to handle those trials is the secret to their happiness and success.
“I have learned to trust God for everything,” Suzzy Crowell said. “I try to lean on God and find joy in any situation – sometimes that is so hard.”
Three years ago, Crowell’s faith was put to the test when she faced a cancer scare that caused her to rely completely on God and his strength and peace. She was no stranger to the disease prior to that because, for five years, she was a registered nurse who specialized in oncology. Also, her mom, Helen Lindsey, had been diagnosed with breast and uterine cancer and lost her battle with the disease in 2005. Because of this, Crowell knew first hand the devastation and loss cancer can bring.
“Losing my mom was one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through in my life, that is until a doctor told me that I had cancer,” she said.
The Lindsey family is prone to Lynch syndrome, a rare genetic condition that increases the risk of colon, uterine, ovarian and other cancers. Lynch syndrome is also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. A number of inherited syndromes can increase the risk of colon cancer, but Lynch is the most common. Two or three out of every 100 colon cancers are thought to be caused by Lynch. It can also cause more cases of colon cancer than would be expected and at an earlier age.
In a routine screening, a fairly large tumor was discovered in Crowell’s colon and the GI doctor told her she had cancer. The surgeon she saw after that told her it was not cancer. She knew God was in control of the situation, but it was a long three weeks before she found out for sure.
“I was not ready to hear I had cancer,” Crowell said. “I don’t think anyone is ever ready to hear that. I sure did not want to go through this. I only told one person other than family so they could pray for me. I found out the hard way that doctors can be wrong. Because I have the Lynch syndrome gene abnormality, I had surgery to remove my colon to prevent colon cancer in the future. Praise the Lord the pathology came back benign – no cancer. I was so thankful to God for the good news.”
Quilting and creating special quilts is a love Crowell has had for quite some time. When she retired from nursing a few years ago, she realized that being idle did not suit her, so she decided to open her home business centered around quilting. Opening Suzzett’s Fabrics, Quilts & More, LLC, is the way she can share her love of quilting with others.
Crowell knows that early detection and testing are very important in winning the battle against cancer. She supports the efforts of the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life of Central Ellis County. She is on the Central Baptist Team again this year and is raising money for the fight. She has found a way to do that through her business. She is selling pink bandanas for $3, cupcake cookbooks for $10 and patterns for cupcake aprons. The profits from the sale of these will go to Relay For Life. For more information, go to www.SuzzettsFabric.com or call 214-797-0393.
“I remember my mom telling me of all her relatives that had died of cancer,” she said. “All the cancers I remember were related to ones documented as Lynch syndrome.”
Crowell knows that one of the most important things anyone with cancer or any other disease should do is research. She knows that doctors, though trained extensively, will not know everything even when it is directly related to their area of specialty. Her advice is this: If anyone sees a doctor, even a specialist, that does not follow-up on what the patient has presented (i.e., recognized research in respected medical journals,) call him out on it. Seek a second opinion and find a doctor who will listen and work with you to find answers. Get referrals from experts in the field. If you suspect you or someone you know might have Lynch syndrome, check it out.
Relay For Life of Central Ellis County will be held May 20-21 at the Waxahachie Sports Complex on U.S. Highway 287 and Broadhead Road.
If you would like to form a team or join a team, contact team development chair Denise Owens at 972-742-3982 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact event chair Jennifer Buckhannon at 214-465-6864.