Maria Williams, Family Member/Friend of Patient
It was 10 years ago when my best friend was diagnosed with colon cancer. She was a mom with two very young children at the time. I was her caregiver for the last few years of her life. We traveled many miles to chemo treatments, doctor’s visits. She lost her eight-year battle just two years ago.
Her loss left a huge hole in my heart and the hearts of my family. My family and I continue to fight for her and for all the children whose parents have succumb to this disease.
I fight so that there will come a day when children do not have to lose their parents before they graduate preschool, elementary, junior or high school.
I never thought in a million years I would become an advocate, but that’s exactly what I have become. I attended my first Call-On Congress five years ago, and have attended ever since. I guess you could say I was bitten by the advocacy bug. After losing my friend two years ago I became known as Belle’s Maria. I am thankful for this endearing moniker. It has helped ease the pain of losing her.
I’ve found an advocacy home in Fight CRC and a huge family as result of the connections I’ve made. I am proud to say I have been a member of the Grassroots Action Committee (GAC) for the past three years.
Don’t forget to tell your loved ones how much you love them every day. It helps them find the strength to fight everyday. It is okay to cry, be mad, scared and tell your family how you are feeling. You will feel better if you share your feelings with others.
What One Million Strong Means to Maria
I am proud to say I’m a veteran junior advocate, and that this is my fourth time to Washington D.C. and Call-on Congress. I’ve been making trips to the “hill” with my mom since I was five years old. I share my story, which is really my mom’s. My mom’s best friend, auntie Belle was very special to my brother and I and we still miss her everyday. Call-on-Congress is awesome because I am able to make new friends who understand colorectal cancer.