I lost both my parents – Margaret and Patrick Raymond – to colon cancer. They were young and fought hard, but at that time, there was only one chemotherapy drug available – 5 FU. The diagnostic method to determine disease was exploratory surgery and by the time they’d found the cancer, it was too late.
My parents are the reason I became passionate about this cause. Twenty-nine years ago, I founded the Raymond Foundation in their honor. Since then, I have become the Director of Patient Support and Outreach at the Colon Cancer Alliance. My daughter, Margaret-Ann Simonetta, is now the Foundation’s Executive Director.
Martha Raymond, Colon Cancer Alliance Patient Support and Outreach Director.
But most importantly, thanks to medical advances and research, colon cancer patients now have advanced screening methods to catch disease early and, in many cases, two to three lines of chemotherapy available.
Today, there are more than one million survivors in the United States and we were proud to honor them with the second annual Colon Cancer Survivor Day.
Last year, we worked with our friends at The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health to host a Colon Cancer Survivor Day event in New York City. In addition, The New York State Assembly and Mayor Bloomberg signed Proclamations marking the importance of this special day.
Through the partnership of the Colon Cancer Alliance and The Raymond Foundation, we are pleased to bring Colon Cancer Survivor Day to the national level this year on March 5, 2014.
We welcome your participation! In the comments below, share your story and photos, let us know how you will celebrate, share your hopes for the future, have your loved ones share their stories or honor a loved one who passed from colon cancer by sharing special memories.
Martha Raymond as a child, with her parents and sister.
As a small token of our thanks for sharing your story on this blog post, we're offering a free Blue Star Survivor Pin with any purchase in the Colon Cancer Alliance online store now through March 31st. Use code CRCSURVIVOR to get your free pin!*
In addition, we hope you will join us on March 5th for a special Celebration of Life Chat hosted in the My CCA Support Online Community at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT. Join with other survivors in this special nationwide chat, meet new friends, re-connect with old friends as we join together as a community. To honor and remember those who have passed, we will share special memories and ask for a moment of silence. Can't be at your computer? Call in and chat using this information: 1 (888) 537-7715 Code: 28943735#.
Just as I dedicate my outreach efforts in loving memory of my parents, we all know someone who has been affected by this disease. Survivors are not just statistics - they are our mothers and fathers; sisters and brothers; husbands and wives; and sons and daughters, and as we mark National Colon Cancer Survivor Day, we pay tribute and celebrate the lives of these truly remarkable individuals. We hope you will join us.
Thank you and best wishes,
Patient Support and Outreach Director
Colon Cancer Alliance
*Limit of one pin per person. Shipping is not included.