Lera Chitwood

Research Advocate, Retired

I lost my only child to colon cancer in 2014. He had just turned 35 and was at the peak of a well-earned life: a professor at Boston College–just where he had hoped to go with his family—his wife, daughter, and baby on the way. He should have lived. I could only try to make up for his life by fighting this awful disease that was killing so many of our young adults. With screening not recommended until 50, way too many young people only discover they have colorectal cancer at stage IV; usually when it is too late. This motivated me to join Fight Colorectal Cancer in 2015 and become a Research Advocate. It took a while to find my niche, but then I became a curator of clinical trials for the Fight CRC Late-Stage MSS CRC Trial Finder. We have to fight for earlier screening and more effective treatment of colorectal cancer.