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Meet the One Million Strong – Shanie H. from Kansas

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Be a part of One Million Strong and tell us how colorectal cancer has impacted your life! Share your story now! 

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Meet Shanie

Shanie Hepler, Survivor

From Overland Park, KS

Shanie’s Story:

At the end of 2006 and beginning of 2007, I was proudly expecting my third child. Throughout the end of this pregnancy I was suffering with terrible bowel trouble. I brought this up to my doctor at that time and was told I had hemorrhoids due to the pregnancy.

It eventually got so bad that I couldn’t even take a walk after dinner and make it back to the bathroom. I also started passing nothing but blood.

I gave birth to a healthy baby girl May 09, 2007. I continued to suffer the same symptoms and was told that I needed to give my body time to heal. I returned to work. I could not function on my job with all of the trips I had to make to the bathroom. I sought help on my own and went to see a gastroenterologist. On August 24, 2007 I had my first colonoscopy where I was given my images upon waking up and told that I had stage IV colon cancer.

In a daze I scheduled a CT scan. It showed that I had spots on my liver. I was immediately referred to an oncologist.

My daughter was baptized that next Sunday and I started the prep for my colon resection surgery. They put my port in at the same time I had my surgery. After surgery, I was introduced to my chemo pump. The chemotherapy made me sick but regardless of how I felt, I got up every morning, got the kids off to school and my new baby to daycare and I went to work. In November I had liver surgery to remove the right lobe of my liver. The surgeon was able to remove all of the spots on my liver.

Today I have inoperable tumors in my lungs. Although I wont survive my diagnosis, I live to be a voice for others to spread awareness and save lives through my story.

Shanie’s Advice:

Surround yourself with people who will not listen to you when you say you don’t want help. Hold tight to your faith and all of your faithful friends who can build you back up when you grow too weak to do it yourself.

What does “One Million Strong” mean to you?

It means that we are united for a cause bigger than ourselves. As one million voices, we set out to change the impact of colon cancer for future generations.

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