Archive for April, 2013

Help Battle Cancer With a Limited Edition “Helwani Nose” Tee

Help Battle Cancer With a Limited Edition “Helwani Nose” Tee


Step into the ring and join the fight against colorectal cancer by purchasing a limited edition Ariel Helwani “Helwani Nose” T-Shirt. Widely regarded as one of the best journalists in MMA today, Ariel is known for having a “nose” for Mixed Martial Arts news. He’s interviewed all of today’s top fighters on MMAFighting.com and FUEL TV. Now you can show your support to your favorite MMA journalist by sporting this limited edition charity tee inspired by Nike and Helwani’s quirky on-screen personality.

All of the proceeds from sales will be donated to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC), where the money will be put to good use for the “3 pillars” of that cause: Awareness, Support & Advocacy. The slim fit and comfy cotton fabric of this ‘Helwani Nose’ shirt is just the thing to inject some fresh style into your spring wardrobe. Order yours today!

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The Giant Colon stops in Calgary

The Giant Colon was one of the major exhibitors at the 1st Annual Calgary Zoomer Show on April 6th and 7th. Thousands of friendly Calgarians passed through the interactive exhibit. The CCAC received much praise from visitors on our unique awareness efforts.

CSGN Canada West Director Connie Wescott and colon cancer survivor Dave Dalen joined CCAC staff members Dave Black and Frank Pitman to greet the visitors and provide information on crc screening and patient support. Thank you Calgary for your Western hospitality.

Debbie Imada in front of The Giant Colon

The Story of a Survivor: Debbie Imada

Debbie Imada in front of The Giant Colon

As I was on my way to my regular three month checkup to ensure that I did not have a recurrence of my cancer, I could not help but wonder if I was truly free of this horrible disease. Although, I have been free of cancer for almost five years, these checkups never seem to come without a bit of apprehension.

My name is Debbie Imada and I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer when I was just 43 years old. My husband and I met each other in our late 30’s and our son was born 10 months after our wedding day. At the time of my diagnosis our son was only 4 years old and we had just brought a new puppy home for him.

I thought that I had been experiencing a recurrence of hemorrhoids which had troubled me following the birth of our son, but I was to learn otherwise after my doctor detected a tumour in my rectum. She immediately sent me for a colonoscopy where I ultimately received the bad news from the surgeon, that indeed I did have cancer.

“I have been free of cancer for almost five years, yet I can’t help but wonder if I am truly free of this horrible disease.”

My initial reaction to hearing the word cancer was that “this is impossible and unacceptable”, I could not possibly be finished with my life! I just had a baby not long ago, this can’t be true!”

In my shocked and almost paralyzed state, I asked the doctor two questions. Where is it? What can we do to get rid of it? He informed me that I would require radiation treatment, followed by surgery to remove the tumour, surgery to install an ileostomy and I would have to have chemotherapy as well.

After the surgery, I had 12 sessions of chemotherapy over a period of 8 months. Life was getting complicated. I still had a big battle ahead of me, but I was determined to survive so that I could watch our son grow up together with my husband. Of course I was scared, but as I developed a treatment plan, I began to feel more confident.

While searching for information on colorectal cancer on the internet, I discovered a fantastic website from CCAC. The information was the most comprehensive I’ve seen anywhere and I was even able to retrieve questions to ask my physicians during my appointments. I found useful and pertinent information and connected with informed counselors that really understood my situation and provided great advice.

I was encouraged to discover that Colorectal Cancer has a 90% cure rate if caught in the earlier stages and I gained strength knowing that I could make it, if not for me then for our son.

I learned that I did not fit the stereotypical description of an at risk person for colorectal cancer, with the exception of possibly being too sedentary as I was working at a desk job, so I felt the need to investigate further. The CCAC helped me become well informed about my disease and gave me the courage, support and strength that I needed throughout this fight for my life.

After a very agonizing time going through my cancer treatment, I decided that I wanted to help the CCAC accomplish their mission by offering support to patients, heightening awareness about the disease across the country, advocating for colorectal cancer screening programs and searching for equal and timely access to treatments.

I have a very special connection to the CCAC and I am now a regular volunteer and advocate for the CCAC. Aside from organizing a very successful “Bumspiel” curling fundraising event last winter, I have also made presentations on colorectal cancer awareness and volunteered at numerous awareness activities including The Giant Colon Tour. With March being Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in Canada, I am busier than ever.

The CCAC educates so many Canadians and provides important information so that we can understand more about our treatments and side effects and they answer so many important questions, but most importantly, they are there to listen to my questions and concerns and provide thoughtful and well researched responses.

So many Canadians have a connection with this disease, either personally or through family members or friends. The value of supporting the CCAC so they can continue their life saving programs is immeasurable. Thanks to your past support they have accomplished so much, however, they need your help to ensure that more people know that this is one disease you do not have to die from.

I would be so grateful if you renew your generous support to the CCAC today by donating as much as you can to an association that is working so relentlessly for all of us. Together we can make a difference!

Debbie Imada