Why I Run
I am a stage iii-c colorectal cancer survivor and proof that you are #NeverTooYoung for this deadly disease. Why do I run the Undy? Because cancer is chasing me. I plan to out run it, and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance is cheering me and my fellow survivors along.
After many, many years of complaining to multiple doctors about certain symptoms, I found myself in front of a GI doctor who took my complaints seriously and promised to find the root cause of my symptoms. We soon learned that a very large mass, five satellite tumors, and 15 cancerous lymph nodes were to blame. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with stage iii-c colorectal cancer, and my career as a young-professional, my bachelorette trip, my wedding, and my honeymoon were all paused as I endured treatment and dealt with complication after complication.
Unfortunately, my story is not unique. I am one of many colorectal cancer patients diagnosed under the age of 50 who have no family history and no known genetic markers of colorectal cancer. Most of us were overlooked and dismissed by doctors, and that dismissal led to late-stage colorectal cancer diagnoses with five-year survival statistics that keep most of us awake at night praying we continue to hear the phrase "no evidence of disease."
I will never be okay with the idea that my story is becoming common, and I will do whatever is within my power to prevent this disease. Spreading awareness of young-onset colorectal cancer is now a personal mission that has become part of my identity.
The embarrassment, vulnerability, and heartbreak that I feel when I share my story will not stop me from doing everything I can to spread awareness. At the very least, I owe this to the friends I've lost along the way who no longer have the ability to share their stories.
Behind the scenes people are sharing their stories with me. I know that my attempts to raise awareness have saved lives because I have received calls, social media messages, text messages, etc. telling me so.
Awareness saves lives. Cutting-edge research saves lives. Access to appropriate treatment saves lives. Colorectal Cancer Alliance does all three.
Donate to the Alliance and help save a life, or join us on October 26th in the race against colorectal cancer!