I am a stage 4 patient, diagnosed in November 2018, two days before my 51st birthday. My treatment path included a partial colectomy to remove the tumor from my sigmoid colon, chemo, liver resection, and more chemo. I disconnected from the last chemo cycle in August 2019. Since then, I have shown no evidence of disease. On the five-year anniversary of my survival, a milestone that many stage 4 patients do not reach, I ran a half marathon to celebrate.
I joined COLONTOWN soon after my diagnosis. Connecting with other stage 4 patients and learning the language of my disease from my peers made all the difference in my mental wellbeing while going through treatments. But that is not enough for me. I feel compelled to use my voice to educate others and support patients and caregivers in this community. The first EPL I attended was in 2019. Some time later, I became an admin for WINDY CITY CREW and FLORA GARDEN (now called GASTRO GARDENS). In June 2023, I attended the EPL in Houston. Feeling energized from a weekend of education and connection, I soon proposed a new neighborhood to the cabinet, ZEN DEN. This neighborhood focuses on managing stress through yoga, meditation, breathwork, qigong, and other modalities. More recently, I have accepted the newly created role of Community Volunteer Coordinator. Developing ways to better support our amazing volunteers is a priority and I am excited to take on this challenge.