The Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s Never Too Young Advisory Board recently welcomed 15 new members. These volunteer leaders will continue to spread the life-saving message that you’re never too young for colorectal cancer.
We asked our new members to say something about themselves:
Anna Alexander: Stage IV Russian Princess Warrior, FAP, APC with Kras, mama to a miracle baby Alexa, who is my life. Passionate about young survivors and patients being heard. Fighting every day but not forgetting to live with a big smile. I truly love this life, world and people.
Azucena Alexander: I’m a stage IV patient who believes it’s up to us to advocate for ourselves. A true believer that everything happens with a purpose; we just have to find our voice and courage.
Jennifer Ballard: Ally author who lost my father in 2016 and advocates in hope no child loses a parent to colorectal cancer again.
Patrick Beauregard: Stage IV warrior, loving husband, USMC veteran, fitness enthusiast, and advocate looking to give back and bring as much good into the world as possible!
Tamika Dash: Stage III rectal survivor and mother of three. Will faithfully advocate, educate, and support until colorectal cancer is eradicated.
Michelle Cappel: Stage IV thriver! Passionate about reaching as many people with the message that CRC is a highly preventable cancer if detected early.
Jennifer Fake: Wife and mother living with stage IV CRC. I enjoy each moment passionately, laugh often and give back to the CRC community that has become my lifeline.
Shawn Farrah: Stage IV survivor, husband, father, and youth running coach, determined to spread awareness and encourage screening for CRC.
Anita Mitchell: I was diagnosed with stage-IV colon cancer as a young mother, and I wish I’d known my father received a colon cancer diagnosis as a young man. Now I stress how important it is to know your family's medical history.
Sonia Morris: Stage III survivor, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) carrier, ostomate, advocate, pawrent to two pups and animal lover, baseball fanatic, and everything else in between.
Bryan McQuide: Stage IV survivor, college professor, father, dog lover, advocate for policy change to pay more attention to young-onset CRC and long-term survivorship.
Jennifer Rio Ruddle: Conquering stage IV CRC like a queen! I’m a commercial/theatrical actress, wife, dog mom, Arizona State University alumni, and stage IV CRC warrior.
Jenna Scott: My late-stage colon cancer symptoms were masked by my pregnancy. Finally diagnosed with stage IV CRC at 31, I made my son the focal point of my journey to survivorship.
Keith Sutton: Stage II survivor, advocate, husband, father, dog parent, and a doctorate-level nurse practitioner. Passionate about early discovery and new treatment options.
Christine Witt: Wife, mother, nurse, and stage IV CRC survivor; looking to raise awareness and screening for CRC because, as Mr. Rogers says, anything mentionable is manageable.
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance convened the Never Too Young Advisory Board to address the concerns and needs of young colorectal cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.
The rise of young-onset colorectal cancer (YO-CRC) is an alarming public health issue. The proportion of new cases diagnosed in young people (20-49) had increased from 6% in 1990 to 11% in 2013 and coincided with the declining CRC cases in older people. YO-CRC patients face unique clinical challenges, as many are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease and subjected to aggressive treatments.
“Through local and national efforts, we plan to raise awareness about young-onset colorectal cancer and remove the stigma of colorectal cancer,” said Kim Newcomer, Never Too Young Program Manager at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “One of the most powerful tools we have is information. We must take this message directly to young people and the medical community.”