By Martha Raymond, MA CPN
Founder/CEO, The Raymond Foundation
March 1st marks the beginning of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and provides the ideal opportunity to recognize all those affected by this disease. The Raymond Foundation chose March 1st for its annual Global Colon Cancer Survivor Day to pay tribute to colorectal cancer survivors worldwide and honor those who have passed from this disease.
By creating a day to honor and celebrate the lives of all colorectal cancer survivors, our hope is that each survivor’s story of courage will help inspire patients currently fighting this disease to know they are not alone.
Many individuals who receive a cancer diagnosis look for ways to help others through awareness, education and advocacy. One of the many positive outcomes of Global Colon Cancer Survivor Day has been the outpouring of support for families, caregivers and those who are newly diagnosed. Patients who are often suffering from treatment-related side effects give their time to mentor newly diagnosed patients. Caregivers and family members struggling to find enough hours in the day reach out to other families to offer support and encouragement. I like to think of this as a ripple effect of paying it forward. Together we are building a community of support.
An important part of our Global Colon Cancer Survivor Day is remembering those we have lost to this disease. With candle lighting ceremonies, both in person and virtually, our community comes together to remember and honor our friends and loved ones. Sharing stories, photos and remembrances remind us that we are not alone and that others understand our heartbreak.
Global Colon Cancer Survivor Day was created in loving memory of my parents, Margaret and Patrick Raymond, who both passed away from this disease while in the prime of their lives. Unfortunately, we all know someone who has been affected by this disease. Colon cancer survivors are not just statistics. They are our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, and sons and daughters. As we mark Global Colon Cancer Survivor Day we pay tribute and celebrate the lives of these truly remarkable individuals.
Editors note: You can join The Raymond Foundation Survivor Forum and share your insights as a colorectal cancer patient. Your voice and experiences will help improve their national programming and education efforts for all those affected by colon cancer. Click here to take a brief and anonymous survey.
Next: Gratitude During Colon Cancer Awareness Month