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.