World Cancer Day: It’s Personal for Us


Community Blog
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As we recognize World Cancer Day, we lock arms with fellow fighters around the globe and recognize our shared commitment to end this dreaded disease called cancer.

Today, we thought about diving into what we're doing on the Hill. We also thought about introducing you to our amazing work in colorectal cancer research and presenting the inspiring stories and volunteer opportunities at Fight CRC. But when it came down to it, we decided to get personal.

Because cancer is personal.

Tell us why you fight

Why do you fight? Share your story, flex a #StrongArmSelfie for social media and get involved. Let's unite today for a world without cancer.

Why do we fight?

"I fight because I believe we are stronger together than we are alone, especially when facing cancer. This is a special day we get to be together celebrating our friends and family touched by all cancers. We also get to share stories about our friends and family we miss."

- Anjee Davis, President

"Cancer became personal to me at a very young age. My grandfather passed away from kidney cancer when I was just a few months old, and unfortunately, since then cancer has continued to touch the lives of my family and friends. It can be easy to feel helpless. But when I discovered the patient advocacy world, I found that while this disease can bring tremendous hardship, it can also bring incredible strength and community. So I fight by helping to empower and support those touched by cancer - to amplify their voices and impact positive change through advocacy."

- Molly McDonnell, Director of Advocacy

"I fight because cancer is not fair. Cancer might be strong but we are stronger. It's proven in times like this when we all come together to honor, celebrate and remember all those affected by cancer. Cancer has impacted me personally and given me different views on how we advocate for ourselves, loved ones, community and future. This year will be my first time participating in a Call-on Congress. I am ready to fight for more. It's time!"

- Olivia Welch, Advocacy Project Manager

"Losing my dad to colon cancer devastated my family. I'm here to use my voice to fight for a cancer-free future with the hopes of preventing this from happening to someone else's family! Attending my first Call-on Congress in 2009 was the first commitment I made in the fight against cancer!"

- Michell Baker, Director of Philanthropy

"I fight against cancer and colorectal cancer specifically, because it is so deeply personal. At 23 years old, I lost my mother to colorectal cancer and I almost didn't survive the loss. I was broken, hopeless and attempted suicide; I could not bear to live on this earth without her.  After receiving help and learning to cope with my loss, my father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and he passed away when I was 26. The majority of my twenties was spent in grief and learning how to live without my parents. Eventually, I was able to reminisce about my parents and feel happiness at the memories, but it took a long time.  At 36 years old, I am grateful to work at Fight CRC, where I am able to take the most painful chapter of my life and transform it into something beautiful and purpose driven."

- Erin Darboze, Health Policy Manager

"When I was 5, my dad (age 36) passed away within a year of being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Almost 44 years to the day after losing my dad, my husband was diagnosed with stage IIIb rectal cancer. I fight as a Relentless Champion of Hope. I fight in honor of survivors, and I fight in memory of those who are etched in my heart. I fight to one day celebrate 'World Without Cancer Day.' "

- Theresa Maschke, Content Writer

"I didn't have a choice to fight cancer and a lot of what comes with being a survivor is out of my control. But, I did choose to share my story. Every few months, I choose to attend my follow-up appointments. I've chosen to team up with Fight CRC because I want other patients to know they're not alone." 

- Danielle Ripley-Burgess, Chief Storyteller

"I fight for my niece who is growing up without her dad. I fight for all my friends and family who I have lost to cancer. I fight for all who are currently living with cancer or who have lost someone to cancer. Cancer does not discriminate and nobody should have to fight cancer alone. We are stronger together and World Cancer Day is a reminder that we are all connected in this fight and that everyone can play a role in the fight against cancer."

- Becky Selig, Director of Patient Education and Research

"Cancer came at me out of nowhere at a young age. With no family history and an advanced diagnosis, I struggled for a time as an early age onset patient to find a community that understood my situation. I fight to honor the people and groups I found that brought me into their communities and let me know that I was not alone; for those who have passed on, but who taught me how to live a full life. I fight to honor a husband and daughter who were there for me every step of the way. I fight to aid the doctors and researchers in my growing medical circle in their search for treatments and a cure. And I fight to find the person, who is like me, to let them know that they are not alone."

- Phuong Gallagher, Research Advocate Program Manager

"Cancer has touched my life in different ways. My grandfather and dad both lost their lives to cancer, and working for Fight CRC has opened my eyes to the threat it carries for people of all origins and age groups. On World Cancer Day I fight for all to have access to prevent, detect, and treat cancer, and to one day live without that lingering threat."

- Melissa Frantz, Project Coodinator
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"I fight cancer because it has taken loved ones away from me, but we can all unite together and stop it from taking more. Losing my uncle to brain cancer was one of the hardest times of my life and knowing it has kept so many people from witnessing the biggest moments like meeting my future husband and kids makes me angry and want to do more. We need to do more. Fighting cancer is not a choice for me; it’s a promise that I will continue to fight for more research, more answers, and more happy endings.

- Katie Newcomb, Volunteer and Events Manager

"Cancer has touched my life in more ways than I care to say. My grandmother, my grandfather, my mother, one of my best friends, and even my dog have all been touched or taken by cancer. It is a ruthless disease with no boundaries, and unfortunately, we are all at risk. We're fortunate that colorectal cancer is preventable in most cases, but it is critical that we continue fighting for life-saving research and remove barriers to screening in order to save lives."

- Emily Piekut, Sr. Communications Manager

"On World Cancer Day, I join in the fight against cancer for my mother and aunt who beat their diagnoses, and also for my grandmother who lost her battle against cancer. This day restores the hope that, while cancer may be strong, we are stronger, especially when we unite and fight together. Although cancer has affected everyone in some way or another, I fight for a day when that will no longer be the case."

- Natalie Reynolds, Program Coordinator & Administrative Support

"World Cancer Day is a day that we can all stand united in this battle. I fight for all Fight CRC advocates who have been affected by this disease and in honor of those who are gone too soon."

- Elizabeth Jordan, Sr. Marketing Manager
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"I fight for everyone that I have lost to cancer. I fight for my family's future and for day when we no longer lose loved ones to these diseases."

- Sam Monica, Multimedia Manager

"I fight because as long as cancer impacts one of us, it impacts all of us. Every cancer diagnosis serves as a reminder that there is work to be done, and until we can celebrate a “World Without Cancer,” day I will continue to fight. I believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that it will take all of us to reach our goal of a cancer-free world."

- Zac Getty, Patient Education and Research Program Manager

Cancer takes a lot from those affected by it, including time with those we care for deeply. But cancer cannot take away the hopeful moments we experience fighting together, so I fight for more of those moments. I fight for more time with my loved ones affected by cancer, and I fight so others can have more time with their loved ones too."

- Merritt Jones, Communication Project Manager

“I fight for all those who can’t. I fight for a future where others won’t have to endure what my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and so may countless others, have had to experience while fighting cancer. The journey is one that nobody should have to travel alone, I’m here to travel and fight with them and for them."

- Erin Quiko, Program Manager

"Being diagnosed with cancer (or having a loved one suffer through it, as in my case) can be the most trying experience of our lives. Early in the journey, I realized that the path to better health is easier by 'being' with others. Sharing knowledge, experiences, and resources in our colorectal cancer community results in improved prognosis, treatment options, and quality of life. It helps those struggling now and honors the loved ones we miss. On World Cancer Day, while looking forward to a cancer cure, I strive for more patients cured, in our time!"

- Maia Walker, Lead Curator of the Fight CRC Clinical Trial Finder

“I joined the fight on behalf of my mother and grandmother. Not everyone has access to resources or a good medical team, so I want to help raise awareness so that we can have better treatment and resources for patients. I fight on World Cancer Day to encourage others to speak up and help break the stigma of a cancer diagnosis because no one should feel like they have to go through this alone."

- Sarah Smith, Social Media Coordinator

"Over the years the connections I have made with advocates and survivors has made this cause even more personal to me. I fight everyday in honor of our community of relentless champions."

- Andrew Wortmann, Director of Innovative Marketing

“To fight isn’t about wanting to live for myself. It’s about the people that matter to me. Whether that is my kids, my parents, the love of my life, or that amazing best friend. They are the reason I fight, because their love and support are what keep me alive."

- Roxanne Ellis, Business Manager