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 their annual Global Colon Cancer Survivor Day as an opportunity 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 those patients currently fighting this disease to know they are not alone.
For many individuals who receive a cancer diagnosis, they 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 struggling themselves with treatment related side effects give of their time to help mentor newly diagnosed patients. Caregivers and family members struggling to find enough hours in the day reach out to other families offering 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. Through candle lighting ceremonies both in person and virtually, our community comes together to remember and honor our friends and loved ones. Stories, photos, and remembrances shared let us know 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, and as we mark Global Colon Cancer Survivor Day we pay tribute and celebrate the lives of these truly remarkable individuals.