Frank Burns Chapman
I lost my dad, Frank B. Chapman, to colon cancer on January 26, 2003. Since then, instead of mourning his death, I have dedicated myself to celebrating his life. I talk to everyone I know about colon cancer and the absolute need to be screened! In February of 2017, I was honored as the Colorectal Cancer Alliance's "Hero of the Month" where my story was featured. It was an absolute privilege to join such an amazing group of fighters! ((ccalliance.org/blog/hero-of-the-month-deborah-biggerstaff/))
Some staggering colorectal cancer facts:
* One in 22 men and one in 24 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
* Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death among men and women combined in the United States.
* There will be an estimated 140,250 new cases of colorectal cancer in 2019.
* 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
* 1 in 3 people are not up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.
* 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with screening.
* 25% of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer have a family history. Know your cancer risk!!
This year I'm asking everyone I know to wear blue on March 6, 2020 in honor of Dress in Blue Day. I am so excited to be fundraising for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. Your support means SO MUCH to me. Together, we can end this disease within our lifetime. Tomorrow can't wait!
I am sharing a poem written by my dad's best friend on the day of his passing:
"A Note to Frank Burns Chapman"
January 26th, 2003
Goodbye Old Friend, my Truest Friend,
These words are hard to say,
And yet they must be said, Old Friend,
On this, a cloud-filled day.
We met these many years ago,
In a college class,
With you a student at the U
Looking for a "Pass."
I first saw you as a man,
Of Honor and of Law,
A man of deep conviction,
With care for all you saw.
Your fellow students thought of you,
As one on whom they rely,
A Law Enforcement Classmate,
And very friendly guy!
I quickly knew you as a Friend,
And Friend to Cindy too,
A dedicated student,
And brother of "The Blue."
Your love of law enforcement,
And right of the wrong,
Impressed most everybody,
As you went along.
You left the school and left the law,
Insurance was for you,
A home in Mississippi,
Afar from Friend and "Blue."
Yet, far away and working hard,
One always could rely,
On "Good Old Frankie B" to come,
If things were all awry.
When Cindy and I moved away,
Retiring from the School,
Our good friend Frankie B. arrived,
To help, with Hand and Tool.
Moving was no pleasure,
But with you helping there,
Made us further realize,
The value of "A Friend."
Although we moved so far away,
Beneath Northwestern skies,
We still could talk on the telephone,
And hear "I love you guys!"
Then, illness struck a crushing blow,
Restricting Frankie B,
First things looked good, then gone too bad,
Was there recovery?
Recovery was not to be,
'tho prayed for by us all,
the illness took its toll on you,
and you answered Heaven's call.
So, now "goodbye to you, Old Friend,"
Goodbye to future talks,
Goodbye to trips and visits,
Goodbye to future walks.
The word "Goodbye" seems foreign,
So bitter on my tongue,
That I should speak it to a Friend,
A Friend, so true, so young.
Our Frankie B, untimely called
from family and from friend,
to Heaven which is richer now,
while we are left to mend.
Goodbye my brother, and my friend,
It hurts that we must part,
But it is true of kin and friend,
You live on in our heart!