Man with kidney cancer gets second chance

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In the midst of battling cancer, John Palma of Hudson wrote a letter to his son, fearing that he may not live through a surgery to remove cancer from his kidneys.

"Colin my wonderful son, the joy of my life if you're reading this it means I have gone to live with God," Palma wrote in the beginning of the letter.

He wrote the letter in January 2010, a few months after he was diagnosed with cancer in both of his kidneys.

"There were no signs at all, there were absolutely no signs at all and this can be a very aggressive form of cancer. There was inner peace but still there was the possibility that things might not go right, and I did not want to leave my boy without something," said Palma.

Cleveland Clinic surgeon Dr. Steve Campbell operated on john's kidneys in separate surgeries. Campbell said only about two percent of people diagnosed with kidney cancer have it in both organs.

Campbell said he used an ice slush technique during the operation. He explains that the clinic is one of the few places to use that method.

"If you've got the kidney iced, you can actually work for even an hour or two, you can to do the most difficult of cases," said Campbell.

That surgery was successful. Now seven years later Palma is cancer free, and his son will turn 18 next month. The letter will be around if he wants to read it, Palma is grateful that he doesn't have to.

"I'm just happy to be here, and it's thanks to a number of great circumstances which was having one of the best doctors in the world being my surgeon," said Palma.

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