Mary Ellen Dunsmore is committed to helping others with colorectal cancer and continuing her daughter Carrie’s legacy with the Cure for Carrie Fund. The fund supports efforts to screen individuals and research colorectal cancer. Mary Ellen provides more detail about Carrie and the fund in this Q&A.
Alliance: What should we know about Carrie?
Mary Ellen: Carrie loved life, America, and loved to read. She loved being a lawyer because she loved to see justice done. She was a wonderful wife and an amazing mother. She encouraged lifelong learning. She taught her children to love the outdoors. She had them take piano lessons since age five and took them to the theatre.
When she got the terrible diagnosis, she was optimistic and lived her life to the fullest going to all the National Parks she could fit in and Disney three times. She was kind and thoughtful. Every day of the five years I lived with the family, she would say, “Momma what would I do without you?” She left a legacy of love.
Why did you create the Cure for Carrie Fund with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance?
After a year of living isolated on the coast of Maine, I felt that I wanted to do something to help people. Since my beautiful daughter, Carrie Dunsmore, died at age 40 in 2018 of colorectal cancer, I thought I would make baskets for Mother’s Day and graduation. I raised money for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. When I then inherited money from my uncle Paul, I wanted to do more and to have a legacy for Carrie’s children, Nate (12), Peter (10), and Nora (8). I met with the Alliance team and the Cure for Carrie Fund was born.
What are you hoping to accomplish with the fund?
I hope to motivate people to get tested by kits available in our drugstores. I hope to make them aware that early detection can save their lives. I ultimately hope to raise enough money to cure colorectal cancer.
Why must we end this disease?
I will work hard to end colorectal cancer for the rest of my life. I do not want any family to see a beautiful, vibrant daughter or son die at 50 pounds of such a debilitating disease. As light, she comes to ask for your help.
Learn more about the Cure for Carrie Fund and make a donation here.
Image: Mary Ellen Dunsmore and Colorectal Cancer Alliance CEO Michael Sapienza meet at the Alliance’s offices in Washington, D.C.
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