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This month, we lost two remarkable colon cancer advocates to this disease – Paula Thomas and Debbie Whitmore. As we celebrate the lives and valiant journeys of these two leaders, our staff reflects on the contributions they made to the colon cancer space, and their own personal friendships with Paula and Debbie.

Remembering Paula Thomas

For the brief amount of time that I worked with Paula on the Dallas/Fort Worth Undy Run/Walk, I was blown away by her passion and picstitchdedication. As someone battling colon cancer, she was adamant about moving our location to not only serve the Dallas area but Forth Worth as well so we could reach and ultimately help more people. Even though Paula passed away the day before the Undy, we dedicate our future Dallas Undy Runs to her. She is truly a reminder for us about why we do what we do.  – Stephanie Marcos, Operations Manager, Undy Run/Walk Series

I am so honored to have gotten a chance to work with Paula on the Dallas Ft. Worth Undy Run/Walk. She was a driving force behind finding a new venue and getting new participants and sponsors. Unfortunately, Paula wasn't able to make the Undy this year. As I spent some time with her family, who came out to participate on her behalf, sharing smiles and tears, we knew that Paula was with us that day. Paula, you will be missed greatly, but I know your spirit lives on and the Dallas Undy will continue in your memory. – Stephanie Student, Community Engagement Manager, Undy Run/Walk Series

I got the chance to meet Paula and her daughter, Katy, last year at the Colon Cancer Alliance conference, and we immediately hit it off. She was just the most friendly, loving person. We were able to spend time talking about life, this disease, and how we were going to beat this. I know she was bound and determined to make sure no one else had to go through this disease, and left the conference excited to spread the word that early screening saves lives. Till we meet again... – Charlie Awad, friend

Remembering Debbie Whitmore

I will never forget Debbie's grace and determination during her long battle with colon cancer. Always a smile, such a beautiful person. Peace be picstitch (1)with you and your family, you are in my thoughts. – Nancy Butterfield, Patient Support and Outreach Manager

How lucky was I to have worked with Debbie even for a short while.  She was an amazing advocate/buddy/volunteer who made this world a better place.  Her courage, strength and love for her family,  friends and fellow cancer survivors inspires us to continue our work to end the suffering of this disease in her memory.  RIP dear Debbie. – Jeannie Moore, Co-Founder and Patient Support Navigator

Debbie never asked "why me, why did this have to happen to me" - she instead​ chose to fight for as much time as possible and treat every day as a gift.  Debbie's love for her family was evident to all who met her.  My heart goes out to her family and friends. – Nicole Sheahan, VP of Development

Debbie has always shown tremendous courage, grace and is an inspiration to the entire colon cancer community. Debbie was instrumental in helping the Colon Cancer Alliance begin our screening assistance program (the Blue Hope Prevention Award). I am truly blessed and a better person for knowing her.  – Martha Raymond, VP of Programs



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