Help increase screening and prevention for colon & rectal cancer.


Faces of Blue: Reagan Downing

By December 7, 2022Faces of Blue

I have never, ever thought about my colon. Ever. Have you?

Just like other body parts, if it’s working – great. Keep on doing what you’re doing. But then, it starts not working the way it should. Hmm, what’s this about? I’m young, probably nothing.

Reagan in car wearing a "Nevertheless, she persisted" T-shirtWhat? I can’t donate blood now…I’m severely anemic?! Hmm, some weird things are going on. Better share with my doctor. Is there family history? Let me check…Yes actually, something notable.

Colonoscopy time – best nap ever. Tumor? Cancer? Stage III? I’m only 42. Aside from recent issues, a very healthy, active adult. Chemo…ok done. I survived it, I’m a rockstar. Living life again. Time for a three-month follow-up, it’s back. It has spread. Stage IV. Whoa. 

Can you imagine this scenario in your life? I couldn’t either. I have learned more about my colon, and body in general, than I ever wanted to know over the past two years. I cannot imagine keeping all this valuable information to myself if it will help someone(or more) in preventing the above scenario.Reagan posing with a colon cancer fighter T-shirt

I try to take any opportunity I can to build awareness regarding this disease to educate and hopefully help others and their loved ones make smarter choices about their health. Do you want to think about cancer? No. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. But it’s YOUR life and you only get one.

Please understand that the number of young onset colorectal cancer diagnoses continues to increase dramatically because younger folks aren’t screened that early. I feel it’s important to build awareness and educate others so they know the signs to look for before it’s too advanced.

Preventable. Treatable. Beatable.




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