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Why I Run

Amanda Chang

Amanda Chang

Why I Run

Matt Wixon inspires me. As my surrogate big brother, he always has. He was funny and fiesty. He was full of love and hope. He was intelligent and passionate. And his wife Kate and I would be quick to point out that he was sometimes also absurd and if we were being kind, we might call him a “collector” rather than “hoarder” of books, scribbled scraps and notes, and Bookstore Movers gear.

Throughout our lifetime of friendship, he teased me endlessly and encouraged me always. He picked me up and spread joy. He brought me communities of friendship and family, and he fought to make the world a better place.

It is an extreme understatement then to explain how unfair it was that Matt was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in December of 2016 at age 40. He almost didn’t even catch it then because of complications with insurance coverage. His son William was born 2 months later in February.

Matt’s experiences epitomize the need for affordable and accessible screening. Doctors typically don’t look for colon cancer at so young of an age and the average person isn’t aware of what symptoms to pay attention to for early diagnoses. Matt tried many trials, and was also excluded from many based on eligibility restrictions. His wife and family have advocated for him endlessly by conducting their own research, calling insurance companies and hospitals, as well as accompanying him at doctor’s visits (among the million and one other things that are needed when battling cancer). From my limited experience with colon cancer, I have observed how cruel it is to even the strongest individuals with incredibly strong support networks.

We need more tools for prevention. We need a cure.

I'm heartbroken to face the future without him:

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

For more information on the event, please visit Undyrunwalk.org or the Colorectal Cancer Alliance's website at CCAlliance.org.
Thanks for visiting my D.C. ScopeItOut page!

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The Wixons are an extension of the Clark family :)

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You can find me at Orange Theory most mornings, training for the run!

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