I’m Yasmeem Watson, a Fight CRC research advocate. I’m a lover of music and listen to it often. But the day I heard, “Ms. Watson, you have cancer,” the music stopped.
I heard those words in May 2013. I was devastated, to say the least, and very scared. My father was diagnosed with cancer when I was 20, and being his only child forced me to handle everything. I think that helped me cope and deal with my own diagnosis.
On the day of my diagnosis, I made a resolve to survive and help others along the way. Since then, being a research advocate has become my passion, especially as I see more and more young people diagnosed.
Getting Involved with Research Advocacy
I felt that I had to learn as much about this disease as I could, and Fight CRC helped me do that through the Research Advocacy Training and Support (RATS) program. The other “RATS” and I have become like family over the years, and I value all the support Fight CRC gives survivors just like me.
Serving on scientific panels is what I’m most proud of as a research advocate. You don’t have to be a scientist to participate in science! Research advocacy is vital because patients know what patients need. Our voices are important, and the medical community now understands why our opinions matter. Patients are now part of major research decisions impacting real people thanks to research advocacy.