IN THE NEWS • 04/27/2017
Christina's Story: Driving Toward the First Car Tags for Colon Cancer
After her mother passed away in 2008, Christina Granderson got serious about raising awareness. In addition to being a longtime Colon Cancer Alliance Buddy and advocate, she is part of the 70x2020 initiative in the state of Mississippi that has helped put her home state on the map as the first state to get a colon cancer prevention and screening vehicle tag! Thank you, Christina, for your never-ending devotion to stop this disease in honor of your beloved mom. We are inspired by everything you continue to achieve in her memory! Can you describe in a few sentences your connection to and journey with colon cancer? I became an advocate for colon cancer awareness when my mother was diagnosed in 2005. Unfortunately, I lost my mother in 2008, but it only strengthened my resolve to increase aware of this disease. What was the inspiration behind the colon cancer car tags? I am a part of an initiative called 70x2020, which was established by the University of Mississippi Medical Center as a way to get 70% of Mississippians screened by the year 2020. I have the honor of working with very knowledgeable individuals who made the car tag their brain child as a way to promote awareness. I cannot take credit for the groundwork on this project. That credit goes to Dr. Sam Pace and Dr. Roy Duhe. I played a supporting role in helping to get individuals to commit to purchasing the tags so we could meet our quota. The car tags are such a great idea as it serves as a moving billboard, reminding people of the importance of getting screened. It is also quite an honor knowing that Mississippi is the first in the nation to have a tag devoted to colon cancer awareness and I am so grateful and humbled to have played a role in helping to make this happen. What's your advice for someone wanting to get this started in their own state? My advice for those who want to do the same in their state would be to link up with a local colon cancer support group or perhaps contact a gastroenterologist or oncologist office in your area. And, of course, contact your legislative officials. What's your #1 piece of advice to other caregivers out there? My #1 piece of advice to a caregiver would be to EDUCATE YOURSELF! Stay knowledgeable about the treatment options available and educate yourself on all aspects of the disease so that you can help your loved ones make informed decisions. Why is so important to raise awareness about colon cancer? There is an alarming rate of people being diagnosed with this disease, so it is a personal crusade for me to promote awareness. I think many people have a fear of having a colonoscopy so it is important that we dispel the misperceptions of that, but more importantly, with colon cancer being the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women combined; it is crucial to educate the public on the importance of getting screened because if you are diagnosed early, you can combat this disease.