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THE JOURNEY – Anjee’s Thoughts about One Million Strong

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IT’S ABOUT HOW YOU GET THERE 12950752545_686f12cf9a

There is a difference between the process and the end product, this is something I’ve had to remind myself throughout my entire life.  I was reminded of this again March 3, 2014. As I looked across Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal, I saw the Colon Cancer Alliance’s inflatable colon, young survivors who are the face of The Colon Club, tables manned by Michael’s Mission, the Colon Cancer Challenge, and David Dubin with AliveAndKickn and his beautiful bride, Robin.  It took us 12 months of planning, calls, and more calls, but it’s how we got here that will galvanize a united front in the fight against this disease.

12950709205_a1a60df36dSurvivors came from near and far to unite. Survivors from Kansas City, Missouri met survivors from New Jersey, Wyoming, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.  We all joined to share a common cause, a common journey and a common goal of raising awareness. It is in these incremental steps of learning and healing that we gain strength and empowerment. It takes courage to take each step.

Megan Bates and so many others took a chance to take that first step forward. Having never meeting any of us before, Megan raised money, packed up and flew out to join us for One Million Strong in memory of her mother. This is a healing process for all of us, for those who have lost loved ones, for those living with cancer and for those who have battled and won.

Again and again, I was reminded that it’s all about the process, not the end. We are not striving for perfection; it’s not about the perfect campaign or the perfect movement, but it’s about building a platform. We strive to build a safe environment for people to connect, build a community and become One Million Strong.

12953636774_4269429b54New York was our first event in 2014, but our efforts will continue year-round, reaching people who are willing to lock arms and join us in an effort to shed light on this preventable cancer.

With every opportunity I get to be among survivors, families and friends, I am reminded that there is joy in how we got here. Eighteen couples renewed their vows and as we witnessed their commitment to each other, I think a little part of me recommitted to the fight.

We are only getting started and I am thrilled.

-Anjee

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