Posted on September 30, 2013
My son, Robert Stephen Gilmore, is now 16 years old and faced his second malignancy last year.
At three years old, he was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma (brain cancer) on February 24, 2000. He underwent chemo and radiation at Brenner Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.
After 12 years of survivorship, he was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer last summer – rare in children. Read more
Posted on July 10, 2013
We’ve met hundreds of young colon cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. In fact, at last year’s National Conference, we focused solely on this issue. We heard your stories, talked with the experts and now we’ve launched our Never Too Young campaign to spell it out: you’re never too young for colon cancer. Michele Davis learned this at just 30 years old, after noticing some persistent bleeding. This is Michele’s story, in her own words.
I left the gastroenterologist with an appointment for a colonoscopy. My doctor told me he’d never seen colon cancer in someone my age. I would be his youngest patient to receive such a diagnosis – a contest I really didn’t want to win. I have no family history of colon cancer. Genetic testing was not revealing and, with exception of a brief history of smoking, I carry no risk factors. This can truly happen to anyone.
When I was told I had colon cancer, I remember trying to comprehend those words as if they were in another language. I kept trying to solve the puzzle and figure a way out of this situation. I wanted to run, to get away from danger. In the end, you can’t run from yourself; the only way out was through. Read more
Posted on June 5, 2013
In 2004, Jason’s father passed away after a six-year battle with colon cancer. After taking care of his dad during his last six months, Jason swore he would get checked so he never had to experience what his dad had. The team at Johns Hopkins told Jason it was a genetic mutation and to get screened before his mid-30s — advice he knew he had to take as soon as possible.
I tried to schedule a colonoscopy starting at age 29 but health insurance at the time would not cover it, as I wasn’t yet 50. After I moved to a new job and my health coverage changed, I immediately scheduled the screening. After the colonoscopy, I was told I had a spot and the gastroenterologist was sending it through to see if it was cancer.
That was on a Friday, making for the longest weekend in the world. I couldn’t escape the fear. On Monday, I went in and was told I had cancer. We scheduled the surgery for two days after my 32nd birthday — what a birthday present! Read more