November 4, 2013
Cancer Survivor Finds Avenue for Activism in Local 5K
Expectant Mother with Colon Cancer Takes Health into Her Own Hands
(November 4, 2013) Atlanta, GA –Allison Anderson was 36 years old and pregnant with her third child, when she realized something was off with her body. After experiencing symptoms unlike those of her previous pregnancies, she pushed her obstetrician to send her to a gastroenterologist. She was given a swift check-up and a prescription and sent on her way. But when her discomfort continued, she pushed for additional screening.
It was then, in June 2008, that Allison was diagnosed with colon cancer. Having no family history or risk factors for colon cancer and being just 36, she was baffled. How could this happen? She made the difficult decision to have the lower portion of her colon removed while pregnant. Tests revealed that because her cancer was caught early; she would not need chemotherapy or radiation. Three months later, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
After conquering her cancer, Allison discovered the Undy 5000 5K series and decided she would put her efforts into this important event. She knew she could make a firsthand difference in people’s lives by sharing her own experience and educating others on the importance of being your own health advocate. And for four years, she’s done just that.
“We have to teach people to pay attention to their own bodies and be proactive about their health,” said Anderson. “I refused to take ‘no’ for an answer and that’s why I'm still here to tell my story.”
Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. More than 140,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013, and more than 50,000 will die from this disease. In Atlanta there have been 316 diagnoses and 113 colon cancer deaths this year alone.
“Every dollar raised and every person who crosses the finish line at the Atlanta Undy 5000 makes an impact in the fight against colon cancer,” said Todd Setter, National Director of the Undy 5000 Series. “And none of this would be possible without volunteers like Allison.”
The 4th annual Atlanta Undy 5000 took place on Saturday, November 2nd in Marietta Square. This year’s event raised $85,000 locally, a portion of which will be donated to Northside Hospital’s Colorectal Cancer Transportation Assistance Program. For more information, visit www.undy5000.org and click on Atlanta, GA.
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The Colon Cancer Alliance’s mission is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. We are doing this by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research and providing the highest quality patient support services. Read more information about the Colon Cancer Alliance at www.ccalliance.org.