Meet Vanessa – Our Answer Line Extraordinaire!

Vanessa-Kurtzer-FightCRC-Staff

Meet Vanessa!

Vanessa is the friendly voice on the phone you will hear when you call Fight Colorectal Cancer’s toll-free Answer Line. (Or, if email is your thing – she’s who will write you back.) No question is too big, complex, silly, gross or TMI for her. She’s available to help you with any question you may have about colon cancer.

English NOT your native language? No worries – she speaks Spanish.

We asked her a few questions so patients could get to know her and hear her story:

How did you get involved with colorectal cancer? 

V:  I got involved with colorectal cancer three years ago when I was a caregiver for my husband who I can proudly say is cancer-free!  I personally witnessed a need for someone to help guide patients through the difficult maze called cancer.  There needed to be a Resource Specialist to provide patients and families the right tools to overcome the barriers of care and facilitating timely access to qualify medical psychological care from pre-diagnoses to all phases of the health care experience.

Did you receive training to manage the Answer Line?

V:  I have a certification from the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute in New York.  I helped start a program through The Cancer Support Community called Cancer Companion. Cancer Companion matches patients and caregivers going through all different types of cancers with survivors to give them hope over the phone or through email.

What is the Answer Line at Fight Colorectal Cancer?

V:  The Fight Colorectal Cancer Answer Line provides colorectal cancer patients and caregivers with resources.  We offer information and resources that range from knowing early signs and symptoms, understanding diagnoses and treatment and managing end of life care. We are here not only to help provide resources and enable patients/caregivers to be their own advocates, but to be a much-needed listening ear.

What are some of the most common questions you receive at the Answer Line?

V:  Some of the most common questions we receive on the Answer Line are:

  • where to find low-cost or free colonoscopies
  • what are the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer
  • what type of questions to ask the oncologist once diagnosed
  • any types of support groups for patients and caregivers

What do you enjoy about working the Fight Colorectal Cancer Answer Line?

V:  I love that I can not only provide patients and caregivers with resources and guidance, but I can be that important listening ear.  I stress to all callers that the Answer Line associates are here to assist and really listen to any concerns and questions they have through the whole continuum of care.

What is your message to all facing colorectal cancer?

V:  I would like all survivors to know they are fighters and that they have won the fight of this very difficult disease!  They are warriors who fought and never gave up!  I also want to say thank you to all the survivors and caregivers who are advocates for friends or loved ones going through similar battles they were in once. Caregivers play essential roles in patients’ overall care by going to appointments and taking notes, picking up medicine, and trying to do as much as possible to relieve any unnecessary stress to their loved one.  Caregivers are survivors too because cancer not only affects the patients, but the whole family.  Do not forget that you have a voice and your advocacy made a positive difference in care!

Tell us more about you! 

V:  Spanish is my first language and I was born and raised in south Texas. I have a husband and two girls ages 14 and 11.  I love spending time with my family and feel extremely blessed working at Fight Colorectal Cancer!

Do YOU have a question for Vanessa at our Answer Line?

Call us at 1-877-427-2111 or email a question today!