Sunday Spotlight – Marcia Mullins, Fighting the Good Fight!

Every so often, we on the Fight Colorectal Cancer team get to hear some awesome stories of how individuals within our community are bringing awareness to colorectal cancer (CRC) and sharing their amazing stories.

Marcia Mullins, a voice and friend of ours for quite some time, made our week when she shared the following snippets of what she has been up to in the fight against CRC.  In the wake of her actions, we were approached by one of the medical groups that she educated asking for our materials.

Only goes to prove that all of us have a voice, all of us can impact change, all of us – together – are strong!  You go Marcia! We love ya and thanks for sharing.

Now – from an email submitted by Marcia Mullins . . .

Thought you might be interested in how the fight is going here in West Virginia. I address this to you, but since it is likely that you will forward it, I’ll say: Hi Everybody!!

Before I tell you about what’s been happening here, I want to say THANK YOU for the great webinar with Dr. Grothey. All the webinars are really good, but this one is special to me. Last year when you had the webinar with Dr. Grothey, I had just started chemo. I was on my third round of Folfox and was scheduled for four rounds total.

I had been searching for information about what the “gold standard” for the number of rounds of Folfox and found very, very little. I submitted a question to that webinar and learned that six rounds is better. So I talked with my chemo oncologist and he agreed to two additional rounds for me, making six total.

I think that made a huge difference in the success of my treatment.

You do great things that change and save lives at Fight Colorectal Cancer. Thank you.

Reporting from West Virginia…This past month has been busy for me and fun, too. I love fighting CRC. Talking to people and equiping them to be fighters also is simply fantastic!
My daughters (Ann, Stacy and granddaughter Grace) and I spent a long day/night at the local Relay For Life on June 8 & 9. Our team is Peace, Love, Colonoscopy and we had a little area along the walking path.  We had a tiny set-up this  year…but we have big plans for next year!I gave out pins and wristbands and materials to many, many people and heard many of them say, “My (mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, best friend, wife, husband….) died from colorectal cancer.” There were very, very few stories about CRC survivors. In fact, I only remember one.I got to carry the “Fight Back” banner at the beginning of the Survivor’s Lap, and I was the speaker at the Fight Back time during the Relay. I talked about fighting colorectal cancer, of course!It was a great time and when it was over a whole lot of people knew a whole lot more about the second largest cancer killer in the country.

Last weekend, I had a booth at a local Health Expo on Friday evening. It was the warm-up event for a Saturday morning 5k. How I got the booth is kind of cool…

I’d been trying to contact the event director to get a booth for a week, but we just played phone tag and never made contact.

I always carry a few pins, wristbands and symptoms/risk factors cards with me, and I’ve had a chance for on-on-one talks with various people as I go through the week….shopkeepers, neighbors, friends I see at Starbucks…they all come away with knowledge and a weapon in this fight.
My eldest son is the manager for our largest area bike shop, Jeff’s Bike Shop. I saw in the paper on Friday morning that Jeff’s was going to have a booth at the Health Expo, so I texted my son and asked him if he would be there.He said that neither he nor his boss (Jeff) remembered anything about it and didn’t have plans to go. So I asked him if I could use the booth space, and they were fine with that. (What a heavenly way for things to work out :)So, that afternoon I packed up my Fight Colorectal Cancer materials and headed downtown. I got to sit at a nice booth from 5-7pm. I wore my Fight Colorectal Cancer shirt and an “Ask Me Why I’m Blue” pin. Among the materials on my table, I placed a small bowl of wrapped candies. It turned out to be a good move, attracting lots of adults as well as a few kids!When people walked by, I’d point to my pin and say, “Ask me why I’m blue and I’ll give you a pin or a wristband.”

Then, when they asked, I would tell them, “I’m blue because colorectal cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the country. I’m blue because West Virginia has the highest rate of death from colorectal cancer in the United States and our county, Cabell, has the highest rate of death from colorectal cancer in West Virginia.”

It was a good attention getter and I got to talk to a lot of people. Three people promised me they would get a colonoscopy (they were all guys about to turn 50…one of them volunteered a “pinky swear” and then said that he would be bound by it : )

I talked to one young man who listened attentively. He came back with his girlfriend whose mother is a CRC Survivor. Later they both came back with her mother. I gave them all wristbands.


I also got to talk to lots of young people and made them aware of the CRC incidence with younger people. I also asked them to “Nag the people you love” to get screened. I’ve said it before, but teens and college-age people really love it when I tell them they should do that. I actually give them license to nag their parents and grandparents ! : )
I am now down to one pin. (I gave away my own wristband to the CRC Survivor : )I’ll wear the pin  and take what is left of the materials to the Cancer Support Group meeting tomorrow morning at one of our local hospitals’ cancer centers. It is the first time I will be attend. I am hoping to be able to meet some CRC Survivors and make some connections.The next event on my calendar is a 5k for Pancreatic Cancer on July 14. I want to be in the race (it is new…just started by a young woman who recently lost her mother to pancreatic cancer) and to spread awareness.

I’ll be attending my second Mountains of Hope MOH) meeting on July 26 in Charleston, WV. At MOH, all the main players in West Virginia’s fight against all cancers are represented. Last time they totally wiped out my materials table.

Hope this finds you all well and that you are having a great Summer!

Take care, and Thank You again for all that all of you do,

Marcia

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