My aunt was diagnosed on her 36th b-day

"In August of 2005, on her 36th birthday, my Aunt Lisa Mason was diagnosed with colon cancer. Because she was so young no one even thought of colon cancer as a possibility and with no history in our family it was quite a shock. Because it was not caught earlier she was already at Stage 4 when they found it and she lost her battle just before Christmas that year. It changed the lives of everyone in the family forever. Her surviving brothers and sisters also now get checked regularly."

---Shawn Vester-Khan, Bowling Green, Ky.

My grandmother 'is such a strong woman'

"In 2005, less than a month after retiring, my grandmother was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent emergency surgery all within six hours. Upon her diagnosis, she looked to be about seven months pregnant, and the doctors were worried her colon would rupture. She came within two inches of needing a colostomy bag-- something my grandfather (who also had colon cancer) was not so lucky to avoid. After a few months of chemo, losing over fifty pounds and her eyebrows, she was put into remission! She is such a strong woman, and she has given me so much of my strength and support over the years. She was there to cut the cord when my daughter was born two years ago, and I would hate to imagine life had she not survived. I am a huge advocate for early screening and healthy eating to reduce the risk of colon cancer after seeing both of my grandparents struggle.

The picture I attached is my grandmother, Carolyn (Sue) Parish, and my daughter Amelia. I took the picture last Wednesday of the two of them reading a book together."

---Shaye Conner

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