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Our Heroes

Hero of the Month: Marty Andrews

Posted on July 4, 2014

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After experiencing symptoms for months and being ignored by his doctors, Marty Andrews took his health into his own hands. At 33 years old, he demanded his primary care physician send him to a specialist. His symptoms had gotten so bad that he met his GI’s recommendation of a colonoscopy with open arms. His screening resulted in an unexpected diagnosis: stage III rectal cancer. Marty has shared his cancer story in various ways over the years, becoming a Colon Cancer Alliance volunteer and most recently posing as a model for The Colon Club’s 2014 Colondar. In fact, his featured month just kicked off! Learn more about Marty and how his volunteerism has impacted his own journey. Read more

Fatherhood & Cancer: Richard’s Story

Posted on June 13, 2014

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When I was originally diagnosed with colon cancer, I was on the way to meet my wife and son at Bob Evans for a “kids eat free” meal. Unexpectedly, I received a call from the GI. He sounded distraught, so immediately I tried to put him at ease. (You read that right!) He was not used to delivering this kind of news to someone my age. He just kept apologizing to me. He had assured me that I was too young to have this disease at age 41, and with a 4-year-old son. When I got off the phone, I sat in the parking lot trying to determine what it would all mean, and how my family would react; all I could think of was my son growing up without a dad. Being a father to a now 7-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter has had a tremendous impact on the way I treat my cancer and the decisions I make as I go along this journey. Thankfully, I am still alive and kicking. Read more

Hero of the Month: Elysia Hayden

Posted on June 4, 2014

Caleb, Elysia and their family on Christmas 2012.

After unexpectedly losing her brother to colon cancer at just 36 years old, Elysia Hayden made it her mission to not only be proactive about her own health, but put this disease on the radar of others in her Spokane community. On May 17th, with the help of her friends and family, the team held the Caleb’s Colonoscopy Crew Virtual Undy Run/Walk, where 75+ people came out to support her efforts to take down this disease by participating or donating. Read more

My Journey: Candace Fresch

Posted on May 28, 2014

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My journey begins just as any other cancer patient’s does…unexpected.

When I was 39, I started having pain while going to the bathroom. I thought I had a hemorrhoid. I tried treating myself with over the counter creams. However, it only became larger and more painful. Eventually, I went to a colorectal specialist at Parker Adventist Hospital. Immediately she told me it wasn’t a hemorrhoid. I had a colonoscopy done. I had to have surgery to remove the mass. Read more

Never Too Young: Sonja Darrel

Posted on May 16, 2014

Sonja darrel

Sonja Darrel is a 28-year-old mother and wife who loves spending time with her family. She has always been active and healthy, so when she started having consistent stomach pains and abdominal discomfort, she knew something had to be wrong.

After coping with symptoms for over a year, Sonja finally decided to take her health into her hands and scheduled an appointment with her doctor. She shared her symptoms and was sent for a colonoscopy. It was then, at 26 years old, Sonja was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer that had spread to her liver and more than ten lymph nodes – a devastating diagnosis for anyone, especially someone so young and full of life. Read more

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