My story: My mom inspired me to help others get screened

Patty Francis' mom was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009 at age 64.

Her mother, a small business owner in Harrodsburg, Ky., she was uninsured and had never been screened because "she didn't want anyone paying for anything."

Eventually, she had a colonoscopy because symptoms led her to believe something was wrong. It was Stage III (nearly Stage IV, Patty says) colon cancer.

After many surgeries and help from the hospital that wrote off the costs, Patty's mom was cancer free. But it came back later, and in 2011 she passed away.

"We knew what we were going through was preventable," Patty said. "We knew no one should go through what she was going through."

Now, "I don't meet a person who I don't ask if they've been screened."

Patty has become a volunteer for the Project, forming a 5K team and organizing a Dress in Blue awareness day at her office.


Patty Francis

My story: Through treatment, my mom was my angel

"Imagine having to tell your 48-year-old daughter that she has colon cancer.  That is exactly what my Mom, Shirley, had to do on January 26, 2009.  February 5, 2009 was my colon resection surgery followed by surgery for my chemotherapy port, months of chemotherapy and radiation, and multiple doctors visits. Through it all, she truly was my angel on earth.


"This part of my life's journey seemed like a very long road, but my Mom was with me every step of the way.  She did everything from holding my hand and wiping tears from my face to giving me the courage I needed to face and conquer colon cancer.  Some might say she was just being a "Mom," but she was so much more than that.  If I needed strength, that is what she gave.  When I hit a milestone in my battle, she was my cheerleader.  And, when I was having one of my many "pity parties," she listened while I released the anger of my "why me?" moments.

"Even almost three years after my last treatment, she continues to thank the healthcare personnel that were involved in my treatments.  When I have follow-up visits, I am always given sweet treats to take to the oncologist's office for the doctor, physician's assistant, and nurse that were my caretakers.  She even sends a card to my nurse, Lisa, for her birthday and every holiday throughout the year claiming that it is a small gesture for the care that Lisa gave to me.

"Words are not enough for me to express my thanks for everything she did and continues to do.  I love you Mom!"

---Ann Eisenmenger, Louisville, Ky.

You are here Stories Personal stories