Stage 3 (Stage IIIc) Colon Cancer Survivor, Advocate and Public Speaker

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Sept. 21, 2015:

I officially became a ten-year colon cancer survivor this past August 29th. Yay for me!

Every heart has a story to tell. The stories may be similar to others, but no two are ever the same. In that respect, I'm always thankful and humbled for every opportunity to share my story with anyone open and willing to listen.

As a 10-year survivor of Stage 3c colon cancer, I've had many years to reflect not only on the physical effects of this disease, but also on the mental and emotional changes that have led me to truly understand the meaning of living every moment as if it were my last on earth.

I am finally realizing long-term side effects of FOLFOX chemotherapy. I've spent most of this year recovering from three surgeries in five months' time. Just in time for one more surgery scheduled for Nov. 10th.

I have been remiss in journaling these past two years. However, I plan to write more frequently in the weeks to come...I hope you visit again soon!

Nov. 20 - Nov. 21, 2014:

Attend National Colorectal Cancer Round Table (NCCRT) annual meeting in Bethesda, MD.

Receive and donate NCCRT Blue Star Challenge Award of $3,000 to Colon Cancer Alliance's Blue Hope Prevention Award program.


Sept. 18, 2014:

I'm so honored and pleased to be awarded first runner-up in the 2014 National Colorectal Cancer Round Table (NCCRT) Blue Star Challenge! Thanks to EnFocus Media for designing Be a Blue Buddy's logo, I will be donating all $3,000 of the charitable proceeds to Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA)'s Blue Hope Prevention Award, funding for individuals and family members for colorectal cancer screening-related issues.

My sister shared a wonderful quote with me; a quote that truly tugs at my heart strings and reflects how I feel each and every time I can be of service to the colorectal cancer community, whether it's by corresponding with newly diagnosed patients or their family members through my online cancer journal, social media, or CCA's Buddy volunteer program, and by speaking with groups and organizations to help raise awareness and educate the public about colon cancer, the importance of screening and early detection.

The quote below inspires me to continue doing what I thought was a one-time event this past March 2014 (National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month)--advocating, raising funds for CCA, and spreading the word. Giving hope. Saving lives. Because Screenings Save Lives.

I am so proud of my sister Grace De La Rosa's accomplishments!
- Gina V.

"People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I've noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, & treat one wound. They aren't determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they're satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world."
- Beth Clark, Author

Credit: Be a Blue Buddy logo design by Bernardo Santana III, EnFocus Media.


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