The Colorectal Cancer Alliance welcomed intern Emmanuel Garcia to our programs department in January. Emmanuel is from Navojoa, Sonora, a small city in Mexico. In about a year, he will earn a biomedical engineering degree from Hermosillo Institute of Technology. We asked him a few questions about his experience here at the Alliance.
Alliance: How did you come to join the Alliance?
EG: I was selected from 4,800 youth leaders to get a scholarship through the government of the state of Sonora and its education department. In collaboration with The Washington Center, the Alliance selected me to be a programs intern because of my volunteer work with the Teleton Foundation, my leadership skills, and because I am a biomedical engineering student in Mexico.
Alliance: What kind of work have you done here?
EG: While in my internship, I have had the opportunity to manage administrative aspects of the Blue Hope Partnership Program and coordinate logistics of the Blue Hope Financial Assistance Program. My favorite task has been examining cancer statistics and outreach and providing monthly reports to Boston Scientific, because this has taught me a lot about colorectal cancer statistics in the United States.
Alliance: What have you learned about the disease since joining us?
EG: I learned that colorectal cancer can affect anyone, young or old. I also did not know that 1.4 million people in the United States and their families have had a history of colorectal cancer. At the same time, I have learned about the biochemistry process of colorectal cancer and how that impacts the health of patients.
Alliance: How will you take what you’ve learned back to Mexico?
EG: I have learned that Sonora has the third-highest rate of colorectal cancer in Mexico, and I want to raise awareness about the disease. Once I get back to Sonora, I want to start the first non-profit organization that will mirror the work that the Alliance does here in the United States.
Alliance: What has been your most memorable moment here at the Alliance?
EG: The most memorable moment for me was the DC ScopeItOut 5K, where I volunteered. I had the opportunity to see how much hard work it takes to host a 5K. I also saw the passion in every ally, sponsor, co-worker, and volunteer, and how we created a synergy to reach the goal.
Alliance: What will you tell your family and friends about colorectal cancer?
EG: I will tell my family how colorectal cancer is preventable and beatable. I want to share with them that getting a colonoscopy is not a taboo, it really is a medical process to prevent colorectal cancer. Now, I believe that colorectal cancer is a senseless killer and must be stopped.
Alliance: Tell us something about you that no one would expect.
A couple things no one would expect about me is, after my love for science and technology, I like to read Nicholas Sparks books, watch romantic movies, and my leadership role model is Jesus Christ, because for me he is the leader per excellency. I also have one leg that is shorter than the other one, and that why I can’t play sports.
Alliance: Finally, what do you think of DC?
EG: DC is a place where there are a lot of opportunities to witness different organizations coming together to make a better country. My time here in DC has been the best experience of my life because I have learned more about myself and my potential to develop a new life project. I have also learned more about the political system here, and the memorials are amazing.