Win Helps Fan’s Battle with Cancer

Barbara Dowell has rallied after Sunday’s Ravens playoffs win.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink
Barbara Dowell with her three sons and daughter (Andrew, Brian, Matt and Patricia) and their spouses. - photo courtesy of the Dowell family

Barbara Dowell with her three sons and daughter (Andrew, Brian, Matt and Patricia) and their spouses. - photo courtesy of the family

There’s no medical proof that a Ravens win is good for the soul, but it sure helped Barbara Dowell.

Dowell, who has been battling multiple forms of cancer for more than four years, was put under hospice care in her Sykesville home on Monday, Jan. 4. On Friday, her health plummeted and doctors said they would be happy if she could extend her fight through the weekend.

Dowell had her four children and about 20 family members present for her 66th birthday on Saturday. But she was especially excited for Sunday’s Ravens wild card playoff against the Patriots. After all, she never misses watching the Ravens game.

Dowell huddled up with her favorite Ravens blanket and had family surrounding her. She told every person in the room that they better wake her up before kickoff if she happened to doze off. The Ravens’ quick start made it easy to stay alert.

Dowell, who is limited to just whispers now, did her best to celebrate.

“She was trying to scream with the oxygen mask on,” said Lindsay Kelley, Dowell’s daughter-in-law. Dowell muscled up enough strength to high-five her son, Matt Kelley.

“Do you see how well my Ravens are playing?” she whispered. “I think they’re winning it for me.”

Dowell found her appetite for the first time in a while during the game and took a brief nap in the middle. But she was awake to see her favorite player Ray Lewis celebrate the Ravens’ 33-14 victory at the end.

Now Dowell, an Avon district manager living in Sykesville for about 20 years, is looking foward to Saturday’s game against the Colts, the team she especially dislikes considering their departure from Baltimore.

“She made a rally this weekend,” Lindsay Kelley said. “She’s very strong-willed. She’s really kept this thing at bay in her own mind.”

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