Advocacy

Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s annual summer concert at the Olympic Park has become a tradition. Led my maestro Kent Nagano, it always attracts a crowd of music lovers. This year on August 10th, the MSO put together a concert to celebrate the Olympic Park’s 40th anniversary. A truly musical celebration to mark an important event and pay tribute to the athletes who competed here in 1976!

In coloboration with the Montréal East Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Center, the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada had the opportunity to greet the concert goers and inform them about colorectal cancer screening.

“Andrew’s Walk”

“Andrew’s Walk”

About Me:

Andrew I was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer in 2011 at the age of 29. Over the past 5 years, I have been through radiation therapy, countless cycles of chemotherapy and several surgeries on my colon, liver and lungs. In addition to traditional treatment, I have embraced a healthy lifestyle and am so happy to be doing well.

I have a wonderful wife and we were blessed with the arrival of our beautiful son in January of this year. I am very thankful for the on-going support of our family and friends, and the amazing team of health care professionals who have helped me to get here.

About “Andrew’s Walk to Support Cancer Patients”:

After my diagnosis, I wanted to help raise money to fight the disease and support cancer patients. We raised $26,382 over 5 years with the help of our family and friends!

“Andrew’s Walk to Support Cancer Patients” was officially launched in 2014. Each year, we select a different organization or endeavour to support. This year, we are pleased to be raising money for the support groups run by the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC).

Why we are raising money for the CCAC:

My wife found the CCAC 6 months after my diagnosis. This organization has made a huge difference in my battle against colorectal cancer. I have attended the monthly Oakville support group meetings on many occasions over the past 5 years. These meetings, led by Filomena Servidio-Italiano, provide me with the knowledge, resources and confidence to ask the right questions, make informed decisions and better manage the treatment of my disease. The CCAC provides a positive and supportive environment where colorectal patients come together to gather information and share their unique experience in this journey. Filomena is always there to listen and provide guidance, and to advocate on behalf of colorectal cancer patients.

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I am proud to be having “Andrew’s Walk to Support Cancer Patients” on September 17th, 2016 with all of the money raised going to help the support groups at CCAC. I know first hand what a difference they can make in this battle against colorectal cancer.

To make a donation click here

Becoming a volunteer for the CCAC can help us save lives. Maybe even yours.

Becoming a volunteer for the CCAC can help us save lives. Maybe even yours.

b8b5b063f881516dcc09c7cf26ed1d55 While it’s true that people with firsthand colorectal cancer experience are more inclined to join the fight against the disease, anyone can play a role in and impact the battle that the CCAC continues to fight daily.

Whether you are a cancer survivor or care about someone living with cancer, you have valuable knowledge and experience that can help shape the experience of others with compassion and understanding. By becoming a CCAC volunteer, you can use your cancer experience in a positive way. Not only will it impact someone else’s life, it will positively affect your own.

Why volunteer?

• Build relationships – Your experience can help others deal with their journey
• To create hope and inspire patients and caregivers in their fight against cancer
• Widen your support network – It’s a great way to deal with your own cancer through shared experiences
• Your involvement can help save lives

Ways to volunteer

We offer a flexible range of ways to become involved, no matter how much time or the skills you have to share. Our volunteer opportunities include assisting with fundraising activities, healthy living education/promotion, creating awareness about prevention, patient or family support or office work assistance if you are in the Montreal area.

Cancer support groups

Trained volunteer facilitators lead support groups for people with colorectal cancer and their families. Our programs offer critical information on the disease and its management, as well as emotional and practical support to patients and their families to help them find ways to cope while undergoing the journey.
Awareness and education.

Spreading the word about symptoms and prevention is key to early detection and survival, particularly with the growing rates of those under 50 being diagnosed. We constantly need people to help raise awareness about colorectal cancer and to provide education about prevention and screening. Whether it be at CCAC organized events (table tops or at a Giant Colon Tour stop), hosting your own event or via social media, it’s easy and all are welcome.

Fundraising

Like most non-profit organizations, we rely on donations and money collected from fundraising events to maintain the services and programs we offer for patients and their families. There are organized CCAC events scheduled throughout the year that you can participate in or like many of our supporters have done in the past you can create your own within your own community. The CCAC will support you with any promotional or educational materials that you require. Previous volunteer hosted events include; golf/baseball tournaments, luncheons, dinners, concerts, fashion shows, movie nights, art exhibitions and auctions.

Testimonial

13413841_10154115661646422_686387621_n“Having colorectal cancer running in my family, I wished to help raise awareness of this life taking disease, and did so by being a volunteer for the CCAC for quite a few years now. With the equal participation and support of my boyfriend, we have taken part of many events hosted by the association to bring awareness to one of the most preventable diseases, if caught early. It has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of our lives and we can only hope that we have brought and will continue bringing awareness to people. Early screening can save your life, so literally, go get your butt checked.” Tam & Max

For more volunteer information please contact Frank Pitman at frankp@colorectal-cancer.ca.

Becky de Champlain – “Life is full of challenges, but no challenge is insurmountable”

Becky de Champlain – “Life is full of challenges, but no challenge is insurmountable”

Becky de Champlain “Colon cancer is often silent and insidious – I can attest to that. At only 30 years of age and with virtually no symptoms or family history I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I owe a debt of gratitude to my family doctor who by accident (or perhaps divine intervention) ticked a box for a lab test on some routine bloodwork that came back suspicious for colon cancer. She, as well as several specialists, tried to reassure me that it was very unlikely that at my age I could have such a disease. But my insistence on having further testing was justified when a tumour was detected in my colon during a colonoscopy.

A whirlwind of more tests and doctor appointments followed. Despite metastases (tumours which spread outside the colon) being detected in my liver and lymph nodes, my doctors were confident that with surgery and chemotherapy I would have a good chance of overcoming this disease. And so it began. In February 2010 I had surgery to remove half my colon and two-thirds of my liver. After six weeks of recovery I started on a six-month course of chemotherapy. This proved hard on my body and very challenging on my mind and spirit. On the bright side of things, the time off of work afforded me more time to spend with my young son (who was not even two when I was diagnosed) and when I felt well we enjoyed lots of quality time at our family cottage.

Now, two years later I am doing well and despite a setback last year when another tumour was found in my liver, the outlook remains good. It will be years before I know whether I am cancer free and so I continue to live on a roller-coaster of blood tests and scans searching for any signs of return of cancer in my body. I credit the support of dear friends, family and colleagues with helping me through the tough times. I am committed to fundraising and raising awareness of colon cancer screening. I have benefitted from the support and education programs offered by the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada since becoming a member shortly after my diagnosis. I am proud to be involved for a second year with the Get Up There ski challenge which provides generous funds to cancer organizations to help continue public awareness campaigns.

I have been cancer free for over five years. I had my second baby in 2013, three years after my diagnosis, so I have two boys now. And I am completing my masters in nursing this year.

Life is full of challenges, but no challenge is insurmountable. I am looking forward once again to reaching the top of Wentworth Mountain with family and friends by my side.”

My Name is Cathy Trottier, I am 42 and this is my story …

My Name is Cathy Trottier, I am 42 and this is my story …

ct My Name is Cathy Trottier, I am 42 and this is my story…

My husband and I returned from a trip to Mexico in December of 2013 and I found myself violently ill with a stomach bug shortly after. I never fully bounced back from that and was generally unwell for the balance of 2014. I felt so ‘off’ that I stopped going for walks, playing baseball, riding my bike, swimming, etc. and was finally diagnosed with Celiac Disease in November 2014. I hoped within a few weeks of starting a strict gluten-free diet that I would feel like a million bucks, but the opposite happened and my symptoms seemed to get worse.

I read somewhere to see a doctor if you notice changes with your stool lasting more than a week or two, so I made an appointment to get in asap. A colonoscopy quickly followed and I was diagnosed March 12th, 2015 with Colorectal Cancer (ironically during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month). After a CT-Scan and an MRI, it was determined to be Stage 3. This meant; 5 weeks of a daily radiation/chemo pill treatment combo, bowel surgery including the addition of an ileostomy bag, followed by 3 months of chemotherapy and hopefully (under a best case scenario) a second surgery to remove the bag.

The surgery that removed a portion of my rectum determined that 1) my radiation treatment was very successful so I didn’t need the planned chemo treatment after all and 2) the ileostomy was in fact temporary. I am happy to sum up that everything turned out extremely well in my case.
How did I get through all that? While it’s hard to say because last year was a blur, but a few things are clear;

• Taking one day at a time was instrumental because the big picture was extremely overwhelming
• My Husband and Son were consistent with their love and support and helped with all the day to day things as needed
• The Doctors and Nurses that made up my ‘Health Care Team’ were phenomenal day in and day out
• My friends, family and co-workers were my never ending cheerleaders especially since I continued to work full-time during treatment, albeit from home
• I was even lucky enough to get welcomed into a support group made up of other young local Colorectal Cancer survivors that dropped everything to help me understand what to expect through every single step of my journey (and still do)
• My faith helped me to stay calm, positive and grounded

While this is very out of character for me to step out into the public eye, I am participating in Push for Your Tush locally to raise funds and awareness since I now feel compelled to share my story. Knowing that early detection is key, I ask everyone that reads this to look before you flush to understand what is normal for you and to not ignore or dismiss any noticeable changes. I looked, acted and am extremely blessed that my story/journey continues…

Young Survivor’s Week – Bravery comes in many forms, thank you Jamie Mead for your story!

Young Survivor’s Week – Bravery comes in many forms, thank you Jamie Mead for your story!

jamie 2 It was a day I will never forget. Two weeks shy of my 28th birthday I was awoken after my colonoscopy and told I have stage four colon cancer. My heart sunk. How is this possible? Just two months ago I was at the walk-in clinic complaining of acid reflex and now I have cancer?

I was quickly introduced to a surgeon who informed me that my liver was riddled with tumours and unfortunately I was inoperable. I quickly kicked everyone out of the room as I felt myself running out of air. Five minutes later he came back in and I sat up from the fetal position and said, “No. I believe you will operate. I challenge that you will see the inside of my body within 1 or 2 years.” After four rounds of chemotherapy, to my surprise, I was right. I underwent two operations that year and since then I have had five, with my sixth coming this June. jamie 1 I have been told not once, but twice that I am inoperable. I have had my surgeon admit that he never thought he would see me again after our first meeting. But with determination, a positive attitude and the will to keep on living – I have proved everyone wrong. I know this is not the end of my battle against colon cancer. I will be fighting this for the rest of my life, but that is ok. I am not thankful for cancer – that would be crazy – I am thankful for other things it has given me. I have a greater appreciation for all those who surround my life. It has made me into a person I didn’t know existed.

For my own therapeutic reasons I started a blog to help drain the chaos that exists in my brain. It is found at www.youngfemalecancer.com. I openly share my experiences and thoughts – and welcome anyone to interact with me through there.

Keep on fighting!

RECENT STUDIES SHOW COLORECTAL CANCER DOES NOT AGE DISCRIMINATE. YOU’RE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO BE AWARE & PREPARED

RECENT STUDIES SHOW COLORECTAL CANCER DOES NOT AGE DISCRIMINATE. YOU’RE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO BE AWARE & PREPARED

butt pic Reports from across Canada show doctors are observing a new trend in colorectal cancer that cannot be ignored nor explained – a “rapid increase” in the number of patients being diagnosed under age 50.
A new study, led by doctors from the University of Toronto, looked at Canadian Cancer Registry data from 1997 to 2010 and found that incidences of colorectal cancer rose by:

• 0.8 per cent per year for people in their 40s,
• 2.4 per cent per year for people in their 30s, and
• 6.7 per cent per year for those between ages 15 and 29.

Thankfully awareness campaigns and advocacy to increase the accessibility of colorectal cancer screening has been responsible for declining rates in people over 50 in the last few years. However, these new reports are a reminder that there is still so much more work to be done.

This year, the CCAC was proud to join forces with the Never Too Young Coalition (N2Y), a branch of Colon Cancer Alliance. Their mandate, like ours, is to raise awareness about the disease, preventative screening and to provide much needed information to the younger Canadian population about the signs and symptoms of the disease, particularly how to avoid a misdiagnosis, which according to studies is occurring more frequently due to the age shift.

Although it is evident that more research is needed to determine the cause of this age shift, we are encouraging doctors and patients to become more vigilant and conscience as the signs and symptoms of colon cancer can often be mistaken for other, less serious issues. The longer it takes for a diagnosis the harder it is treat, which is key in survival.

Risk factors for colon cancer

The fact that incidence is rising only among younger people suggests “lifestyle” factors are at play, but the evidence of this is not concrete. Pay attention to your body and if you have any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor – take charge of your health!

• Family history of colon cancer or polyps: First and second degree relatives of a person with a history of colon cancer and polyps are more likely to develop this disease, especially if the relative had the cancer at a young age
• Genetic Alterations: Changes in certain genes increase your risk of colon cancer. Those with syndromes like hereditary nonployposis colon cancer (HNPCC or Lynch Syndrome) or Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) should be screened earlier than 50
• Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease
• African Americans should be screened starting at age 45, or sooner if you have other risk factors or symptoms
• Lifestyle factors, like eating processed and red meats, a lack of dietary fibre, a lack of physical exercise, obesity, alcohol, smoking, diabetes and genetics

June 5-11 will mark the second annual “Young Survivors Week,” connecting with patients, survivors, and caregivers to create buzz around young onset colon cancer. Join us and N2Y as we spread the word via social media by sharing stories and information to help others understand that IT can happen to anyone.

Sophie’s Run at Lakeridge

Kirsten Burgomaster, Clinical Director of the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre (DRCC) and Lesley Bovie from Communications at Lakeridge Health, welcomed Nicole Chuchmach and and Natalie Atkinson in the main lobby of the hospital on April 20th, 2016.

Great things happen every day at the cancer centre. April 20th was certainly no exception as they welcomed Sophie’s Run for a quick rest stop. Nicole and her running mate Natalie are running from Humber College to Ottawa this spring to raise awareness and funds for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. Nicole lost her mother Sophie to the disease in 2006. Here she is ringing the gong in our radiation treatment area in her memory, and meeting the amazing Henry Westerhof who is undergoing treatment now at our centre. We thank Nicole and Natalie for visiting the cancer centre and we wish them well on the rest of their adventure.

About Sophie’s Run

Sophie’s Run II is an event to promote and educate students about colorectal cancer. It was launched by Nicole Chuchman, a professor of Hospitality and Tourism at Humber, who started running to cope with the grief if her mother’s death from colorectal cancer.

This is not the first time Nicole has run for the cause. Her original run was back in 2008. This year, she took off from Humber North campus to Ottawa on April 14, 2016.

“It’s raising more awareness which is what this disease needs because my mom passed away because she ignored her symptoms,” said Chuchman. “So the more education we can get out of it, the better.”

Joanne Hulley – Stage IV Colorectal Cancer Patient Testimonial

Joanne Hulley – Stage IV Colorectal Cancer Patient Testimonial

P6300319 Hello, I am a colorectal cancer patient with metastatic disease. I was diagnosed just over 4 years ago and had emergency surgery of the large bowel. Since that first surgery, I have had 5 more, plus countless chemotherapy sessions. I came across the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada’s CCRAN support group meetings that are held in Oakville, 100 km away from my home, 3 years ago. Since then I have attended on a regular basis.

I do believe that I have an important role to play in my treatment. I make sure I have a healthy life style and I rely on CCRAN to provide another dimension to my healing journey.

At our monthly meetings, the chair shares recent developments in advances in treatment from around the world. It is important to know that these are published scientific notes and include developments in drug therapy as well as other interventions. Guest speakers, usually researchers from teaching hospitals, are invited to share developments in their area of expertise and newer options for treatment. I am so pleased to see that some of our members have benefitted from these innovative procedures. It gives me great hope and I anticipate being able to consult with specialists with a unique outlook.

In addition to research presentations, the group shares coping strategies and updates on their treatments. We encourage each other with our shared experiences.

Besides the benefits of group support, I believe the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada has two important roles to play:

First in making more people aware of the need to early screening for colorectal cancer. Early intervention leads to better outcomes and usually a cure.

Secondly, I believe it helps us nudge the medical community into looking outside the box. Without patients pushing some boundaries, in a gentle and tactful way, I don’t believe we would see the same level of progress in development of new treatment options.

Keep up the valuable work!

Joanne Hulley

CCAC Upcoming Event – 2nd Annual Bum Run

CCAC Upcoming Event – 2nd Annual Bum Run

logo On Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC) will be once again taking part in its second annual BUM RUN, a 5 km walk/run event to raise awareness of colorectal cancer – which is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada. BUM RUN was founded by Dr. Ian Bookman, a gastroenterologist in Toronto who shares the CCAC’s passion of raising awareness of colorectal cancer screening. This event is intended for all ages and fitness levels, so it’s a great opportunity to plan a family day or a group of friends, while raising much needed funds for the CCAC.

This is the second year that the CCAC will be participating in the event and benefiting from the proceeds raised at the event. Hence, we truly need everyone’s help to make this a significant fundraising initiative for us in the Toronto area. The funds raised will hopefully go towards our patient support programs in Canada and will go a long way in helping to support patients and caregivers. Our support programs are critically important to patients and caregivers and I must say, to me as well, and it is my fervent desire to continue to provide these programs to those afflicted with this insidious disease. But we need everyone’s support to be able to do so by participating in events such as BUM RUN.

MT

This run is for Marie Taurasi:
She’s behind the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada!

“This is not an “old person’s disease.” If you are having any types of symptoms – go and have yourself checked. This is what saved me – a colonoscopy.” said Marie Taurasi

Marie was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer on January 19, 2015. She had a temporary ileostomy put in on February 6, 2015, and is now undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Marie is grateful for the help and support of the Colorectal Association of Canada for educating and guiding her through this journey.

How to participate in BUM RUN – Two ways:

1. Participate in BUM RUN by actually walking or running on April 24th. Please register for the event by following some simple instructions that appear below. Event facilitators have made the registration process so easy this year. After registering, you can then contact everyone you know to urge them to pledge a donation on your personal fundraising page. When you contact people to pledge in your name, the easiest way is to provide them with the link to your personal homepage. It is important that they select the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada when they are asked to select the charity to donate to. By way of example, below is the link to my personal homepage to give you an idea of how you might want to set up your own homepage:

https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=3229824&langPref=en-CA

2. OR, if you are not able to walk or run in the actual event because you live in Montreal, perhaps you can support me by pledging to my fundraising page. Any amount is truly appreciated! Just click on the link above and it will take you directly to my fundraising page where a donation can be made. This is another way in which you can be a part of BUM RUN!
This will be a highly visible event, starting at Queen’s Park Circle. The event is organized with the cooperation of the City of Toronto, local City Councilors and the Sergeant of Arms of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. I will be there and it is my sincere hope that everyone I know will be there too supporting this huge cause on the 24th of April. Should you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me for I am happy to help. This is truly a wonderful event that promises to garner much attention and more importantly will promote awareness and education of a disease that robs too many families of their loved ones. The funds raised will allow us to continue to do the good work we do on a daily basis. So let’s get registered shall we, secure those pledges and show up on the 24th of April to do our part for those who can’t!

How to Register as a Participant for BUM RUN 2016

1. Go to: http://bumrun.com/ and press the blue REGISTER tab in the top right hand corner
2. Register by clicking on “SIGN UP” in the left hand column
3. On the next page, press the blue “CREATE NEW ACCOUNT” button or you can also register using your Facebook account with the “Log in with Facebook” button on the right.
4. You then select the event/city you are registering for (there is only one choice “Toronto, ON”). You then select “Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada” from the list of charities.
5. Read the waiver then check off “I accept the waiver”
6. The next page asks whether you want to register as an individual, join a team or create a team. Most of you will probably register as an individual, however, forming a team can be an opportunity to participate with friends and family.
7. You then continue to provide your contact information and credit card information.
8. You will then be prompted to create your fundraising page. We urge you to personalize your page as much as possible.

***When you contact people to pledge in your name, the easiest way is to provide them with the link to your personal homepage. You can also send e-mails directly from your fundraising page and they will automatically be given the link to donate.