Her mother was diagnosed at 44.
My mom, Melodee, was diagnosed with colon cancer when she was only 44 years old. Initially, the doctors thought she had ovarian cancer because it was diagnosed at stage 4 and had spread all the way to her liver, but the doctors traced it back to colon cancer.
She started chemo right away, but it only made her sicker and her body couldn’t fight off the cancer. She fought as hard as she could, but eventually she went on hospice and passed away on December 15, 2002 surrounded by family.
Looking back after the diagnosis she had warning signs that she didn’t take seriously, like dizziness, pain the gut, and bloating. Colon cancer runs in my family, so I got my first colonoscopy in 2012 at age 26 and I have to go every five years for the rest of my life. My mom’s brothers and sisters went and got their screenings done right away after she was diagnosed. Two of the four have had polyps removed during their colonoscopies.
Since my mother’s passing my family and I have tried to turn it into something positive. I joined the GPCCTF seven years ago and became the Vice President at my first meeting. Since then I have taken on directing Rollin’ to Colon. My philosophy is if I can touch at least one person it’s all worth it. I want to spread as much awareness as I can and get people talking about it. Colon cancer is the most preventable cancer. Knowing your family history and completing your colonoscopies can help prevent you from getting colon cancer.