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A Tribute to Gloria Borges

Posted on January 6, 2014

Most days, I wake up knowing that I have one of the best jobs in the world. That is what makes days like this all the more brutal.

Even after three years of working at the Colon Cancer Alliance, it still hits me hard every time I get the news that we’ve lost one of our own. Every. Single. Time.

Today, we mourn the loss of the beloved Gloria Borges, 32-year-old founder of the WunderGlo Foundation and the true embodiment of a cancer warrior.

After Gloria's speech at October's National Conference, attendees rose to their feet in awe and applause.

After Gloria’s speech at October’s Colon Cancer Alliance National Conference, attendees rose to their feet in awe and applause.

Days like this, I want to put my head down and sob at my desk. I want to scream about the unfairness. Sometimes I’ve even wanted to quit. But I haven’t and I won’t. Because the only thing worse than hearing another member of our community is gone would be giving up altogether.

Today, as we honor Gloria and the countless others who’ve been taken by this disease, I’m asking you to do something. Stand up with me and work that much harder in their memory; carry on what they started and help make sure this is a cancer that we beat, even if that victory isn’t achieved today.

For me, I hope saying goodbye never gets easier. The day that I am able to shrug off a tragedy would be to lose the passion and the reason that I am here in the first place. If there is one good thing I can say about heartache, it’s that it reminds us why we’re here, doing what we do.

Gloria joins with friends at the National Conference Blue Party.

Gloria joins with friends at the National Conference Blue Party.

It has been an amazing honor working alongside Gloria and all of you – from patients and survivors to caregivers and advocates. It is not a responsibility I take lightly or something I take for granted. Thank you for sharing in the passion and purpose that make this organization worthwhile. As we pause to remember Gloria, let us also strengthen our resolve to continue the work that was so important to her. 

Katie Matusik
Communications Manager
Colon Cancer Alliance

8 Responses to “A Tribute to Gloria Borges”

  1. Laura Porter says:

    Beautifully expressed Katie, thank you for sharing with us.

  2. Nancy says:

    I was fortunate to attend the 2013 CCA Dialogue and was very so inspired by Gloria’s talk and all the hard work she gave to colon cancer awareness. She was such a blessing to so many! Having been diagnosed with colon cancer at age 32, 23 years later I so often wonder why some of us beat this terrible disease and yet, some of the best don’t Just. Isn’t. Fair. Makes me even more committed to raising awareness, promoting appropriate detection and finding a cure. Together we can make a difference. Rest in peace Gloria…you fought a great fight.

  3. Marie A. Strupith says:

    So sorry to hear that this young lady lost her battle to colon cancer. I hate cancer. I lost my 47 year old daughter to stage 4 colon cancer on December 28th 2010. I lost my mother to uterine cancer 6 months later. I was a caregiver to both. For my daughter there were other caregivers but for 17 months I was caring for her daily except for the times I was taking care of my mom. I feel for Gloria’s family. It is a huge loss. My condolences to the family and to this organization.

  4. Tammy Durrett says:

    As a 2 year colon cancer survivor I am so sad to hear of this news!!! I stand firm in her motivation to annihilate cancer. Cancer sucks!! RIP WonderGlo your spirit will live on.

  5. Mike Lamma says:

    Hello my name is Mike Lamma and this story hits close to home. I just lost my wife Gloria on December 10th to stage IV colon cancer, she was only 34. She leaves behind 3 beautiful children, one amazing step daughter, and a grieving husband behind. She was diagnosed September 16 of 2012. She went through so much to try to beat this. She never accepted that this disease would take her and always fought to the bitter end, she always believed in a cure. I know what I need to do and that is help bring awareness of this dreadful disease especially to younger people. I don’t know where to start but I am willing to do what ever it takes to help. A grieving husband who wants a cure- MIke

  6. Paula Thomas says:

    I was so sad to hear that this impressive young woman had passed away. She was one of the first to inspire me to “go beyond” in raising awareness and $$ when I heard her at my first CCA conference this past October. Gloria was so passionate, knowledgeable and influential. Hopefully her WunderGlo Foundation will continue to build her legacy through research funding.

    Thank you, Katie, for writing such a nice tribute to Gloria.

  7. Nikol Hamilton says:

    I was blessed to meet Gloria while attending my first CCA conference in 2013 in Miami. As a healthcare provider and also a wife to a husband that lost their battle at age 35 to this preventable disease, we must advocate for more research, state screening programs, survivorship and genetic issues, and keep Gloria’s vision for this alive. Thank you for the tribute to her. She was a superwoman!

  8. […] and resources are pretty limited, right? I hear you and I’m right there with you. As I wrote in my tribute to Gloria Borges, I love my job. I really do. But I’m not in it for the money. And that means I have a very finite […]

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