Bardy shares his story about how the power of advocacy. By connecting with Cora Connor, founder of RMC Support and Dr. Nizar Tannir of MD Anderson Comprehensive Cancer Center, he was able to get the right care for a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer.
My Name is Bardolph McConnell, I was recently diagnosed with RMC or Renal Medullary Carcinoma which is a rare form of kidney cancer associated with sickle cell trait. I’m a 48 yr old African American with sickle trait. I had been having lower Back pain that I threw off as ordinary back pain untill I started urinating blood in December of 2018. I went to the emergency room where they did so many tests but couldn’t find anything wrong. I was a healthy man all my life with no ailments whatsoever. I kept going back to urgent care and to see my primary doctor but they couldn’t find anything wrong with me test after test. As I pushed them to find out why I was urinating blood and after a month had passed, they finally gave me a cat scan with dye and found a mass growing on my kidney. The urologist who I had been seeing wanted to take my kidney out three days later & scheduled surgery for that Monday, without further review or even sending me to an oncologist.
Well, when I was at work and got the dreadful call that I had Renal Medullary Carcinoma, I googled “RMC” to find out info on it and came across Cora Connor and her brother Herman’s story. So I decided to look up Cora Connor on Facebook late at night and her picture came up. I was filled with joy I found her, so I messaged her, not thinking I would get a response but I think a day later she responded and put me in touch with an Angel named Dr. Nizar Tannir. I emailed Dr Tannir Sunday Night, 11pm my time which was around 1am his time and introduced myself. I explained to him that I had RMC and that the Dr in my town wanted to take my kidney out the next morning. He advised me after emailing me back at 2am in the morning not to go through with the surgery because of the complications of having the cancer spreading. It was God working through this man, this doctor who emailed me at 2am to save my life in a sense to stop me from going through the surgery the next morning. He was able to refer me to one of his colleagues here in my state who has started the chemotherapy regime that Dr. Tannir recommended.
Cora also has been an Angel sent from God, with supporting me through these tuff days I faced and am facing ahead. It’s kidney cancer awareness month, and this cancer; Renal Medullary Carcinoma needs to be known about and studied more because a lot of doctors and people are clueless about RMC. All Cancers Need to be brought to the forefront to all people but especially people and families who have loved ones suffering from RMC. Thank you for allowing me to share my story. I hope once you read my story, you’ll want to learn more about renal medullary carcinoma. I sure never heard of it until I was diagnosed.
Bardy McConnell died of Renal Medullary Carcinoma in November 2019 after a brave and valiant fight. His memory lives in our hearts. We’re indebted to him for sharing his story and will continue to fight to improve care and find a cure for Renal Medullary Carcinoma.