My sister Robin was 33 when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer as she delivered her 3rd child in 2008. We were pregnant at the same time living in different states. For two years, I traveled to Massachusetts from Pennsylvania with my newborn to my sister’s surgeries, chemo treatments. I was living with her when she was told she had six weeks to live.
I will never forget that phone call or her voice. I will never forget telling her that I was there to see her live, not to wait for her to die. I will never forget driving over the Commodore Barry bridge in New Jersey, thinking the next time I go over this bridge I will not have my sister. She passed away February 7, 2010.
My life has been deeply impacted from the way I parent my now three children, to the way we eat and live, to the way I teach others to be an advocate for themselves. I continue to work with different organizations to push colon cancer awareness, and I changed my career to try and help make a difference. The best feedback I get are texts that say. “Kara, thank you, I just scheduled my colonoscopy.”
So please get out there, move your body, share your story, be near others that feel the same pain. Be loud about raising awareness and donations. This is treatable and preventable. The 2030 projections tell me we have a lot of work to do with educating young people.
Thank you for letting me have a voice and share my story. The first 10 years I wasn’t emotionally able to say these words.