Help increase screening and prevention for colon & rectal cancer.


Faces of Blue: Andy Vazquez

By August 17, 2022Faces of Blue

In early 2020, Andy Vazquez’ father, Rafael, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.  He hadn’t been feeling well and it was hard for him to get into his PCP because of COVID, etc. A visit to the ER with very swollen legs believed to have been caused by a minor heart attack, also revealed the cancer.  Unfortunately, by the time the cancer was discovered, it had spread from his colon to his liver and throughout his body. Rafael and Andy enjoy a concert together.


The constant refrain that was heard from his doctors was that if the cancer had been caught in time, it most likely would have been very treatable.  “He most likely ignored some symptoms and signs that were there,” says Andy. “I understand it’s not a topic people want to talk about, nor is the screening process pleasant, but I really want to help people to be aware of this disease.”

Rafael passed away on Nov. 20, 2021, he was 69 years old at the time, and it was just two weeks after Andy’s daughter was born. “It was pretty difficult for me as my first child was just born. She was in the NICU for two weeks and he was isolated in a different hospital due to COVID rules, so it was difficult that they never got to meet,” remembers Andy.Andy's daughter smiles at him as they take a selfie.


Heartbreaking to the Vazquez family, Andy has done everything he can to spread awareness, “I’m just trying to raise awareness now so others don’t have to endure what my family and I have.”

In May 2022, Vazquez participated in the national Tour de Tush, raising money and riding nearly 300 miles in memory of his dad. “It helps me to honor his memory and keep up the fight. It’s sad that it seems to be something treatable if caught. I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m trying to do my best to promote awareness. I know these things won’t bring him back, but it’s the best I can do to help make sense of it,” said Vazquez. “I hope to encourage others to get checked out! And never take any time for granted.”



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