Got 3 minutes? That’s all it will take today to give yourself a “Warrior Wednesday Carlea Bauman treat read” today. So ignore everyone and make what they are saying now sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.
Yes, before you get up or make another call, find your colorectal-yoga moment. After you read this, you will have that one moment of “awe, yes, good things are happening and good people are making it happen.”
If you are new to the “fight for colorectal cancer,” trust that Carlea Bauman will become a household name. She is a woman with many words. Some of her words are powerful and influencing our nation’s top political leaders. And, then there are her words that are not found in the dictionary. Beware of those non-dictionary words. They can make you spit from laughter, because you didn’t expect to hear it.
We salute Carlea Bauman as this week’s Wednesday Warrior.
Why I Get My Rear in Gear
By Carlea Bauman
I have been president of Fight Colorectal Cancer (formerly C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition) since 2006. I get my rear in gear because there are colorectal cancer patients and survivors who humble me on a daily basis.
I’m lucky. I go home at night, play with my adorable two year old, and I do not have to think about cancer. I still do, of course, but it is my job not; it is not my life.
I work every day to encourage patients, to make them feel stronger through increased knowledge of their disease, and to tell them that they have the capacity to make a difference in the fight against colorectal cancer. But deep down inside, I know that if I were ever faced with what they face every day, I would crumble. So I look at them, and I am in awe. I quite simply don’t know how they do it.
I will never forget the friends I have lost to colorectal cancer. And I mourn the loss of loved ones to people who have become dear friends. I also happily celebrate when someone kicks cancer’s ass.
But the times when I really love my job are when advocates join us at Call-on Congress and I see in their eyes their amazement at what they’ve done. I love the stories of advocates chasing their senators into elevators to press them about colorectal cancer legislation. Or getting their “says-no-to-everything” representative to finally say yes to a national colorectal cancer screening program.
These victories mean more than just getting legislation passed. It means that survivors, who had to give up control to their disease, finally get to hit back – on their terms. It is truly awesome to be a part of that.
More about Carlea
Carlea brings 20 years of experience in communications, politics and advocacy to Fight Colorectal Cancer. As the National Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the American Diabetes Association (ADA), she directed ADA’s “Call to Congress: Conquer Diabetes,” which brought hundreds of diabetes advocates to Capitol Hill each election year. Prior to that, she was the Press Secretary for the groundbreaking Florida “Truth” Campaign, an initiative that resulted in a 10 percent drop in teen smoking within a single year. Her passion for health advocacy is personal: she lost her mother to diabetes and her father to cancer. Carlea got her start in politics working for the late Florida Governor Lawton Chiles and later at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, DC. She sits on the Advocacy Board for the Ruesch Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Carlea is a graduate of Florida State University and resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and daughter.