An Experience of a Lifetime – the 2016 Colondar 2.0 is Out!
In conjunction with the start of Colorectal Cancer (CRC) awareness month, I’m excited to announce that the 2016 Colondar 2.0 annual resource magazine was released today!
I LOVE the page from my section pictured above (all Colondar 2.0 photos taken by the incredible Mark McCarty & courtesy of The Colon Club!). Note the caption they chose to use, I think they captured my mindset and philosophy perfectly.
“Incurable… For now… The lung spots are still there today, but they are no longer growing and Tom continues to live life as a stage IV colon cancer survivor. Tom knows that the chemotherapy he is undergoing will not cure him of stage IV cancer – it is only managing the disease. Controlling it. Buying him time. And in Tom’s mind, that’s all he needs – time.”
Being a part of this project has truly been a life-altering experience.
How? In multiple ways – some of which were detailed in the blog post “ELEVEN NEW SISTERS AND BROTHERS (AND MANY MORE COUSINS)” that I wrote last June immediately after returning home from the photo shoot/early onset CRC survivor retreat in Tennessee that we affectionately called “Colon Camp”.
That trip gained me lifetime friends (family) who I remain in close touch with a year later.
That trip made me for the first time accept my diagnosis in a positive way (although obviously still wishing it didn’t exist!). The energy of the group was off the chart – it was LOVING LIFE regardless of circumstances. It was empowering to reach that level of acceptance of a basic fact I can’t change no matter how much I would like to. Yes, I currently have Stage IV CRC. But with that full acceptance, I could then fully focus my mental and emotional energies on trying to fix various aspects of cancer for myself and others instead of spending any time on unproductive self-pity. It was only from that positive base that I could then fully positively react & grow as a survivor, advocate and person.
That trip lit an advocacy fire in me – the magnitude of everything you have seen me do to support & try to help the CRC community since June (and even more things that are in motion that I have not yet blogged about!) are directly related to that positive base formed by my Colon Camp and Colondar experience.
As a reminder: what is the Colondar 2.0?
It is not a calendar! The name refers back to its previous incarnation as one. It is now an annual resource magazine aimed at both the CRC community as well as the general public & medical community – to both INSPIRE and educate!
It has multiple goals including:
- Showing the inspirational profiles of (12) early-onset (less than the “screening age of 50”) CRC survivors who are not only surviving but are THRIVING. You will find their stories amazing & inspiring.
- Educating the general public & medical community that CRC is not an old man’s disease. Regardless of age – if you have the symptoms of CRC that aren’t explained relatively quickly by alternative causes – get a colonoscopy without delay it could save your life! Even as a cancer drug researcher, I had never heard this key message. I never look back – but it is hard not to in this case. It took me 9 months to get a colonoscopy after my symptoms started. PLEASE take this message seriously. On a very personal level this shows to me the importance of the Colondar 2.0 being distributed as far as possible! CRC survival is directly linked to how fast you catch it.
Here is a snapshot taken of us (12) models last June:
The magazine itself was produced by a world-class production team including photographer, stylist, designer and graphic designer. Although it is soft-cover, don’t imagine a magazine – imagine a high quality coffee-table book. One that is both beautiful to look at as well as inspirational to read.
If you are interested in getting a copy, they cost $10 and all proceeds support the CRC advocacy group The Colon Club. You can order a copy at this link or if you would like a personalized copy 🙂 send me a Facebook PM, email or leave a comment below.
I wanted to close with some of the publicity photos released so far (only a few of the models so far – the rest will steadily be coming out on social media over the coming weeks). These are some of the amazing early-onset CRC survivors you’ll meet in this year’s Colondar 2.0.
Meeting them changed my view of life – I believe the same will be true for you!