Team OPTIMISTICC kicked off Colon Cancer Awareness month at our March 5 team meeting, where we honored Dress in Blue Day by photographing ourselves in our many shades of blue.  In the top row of the left photograph above you will see Anita Mitchell Isler, who started Dress in Blue Day. Anita said to us:

“I started this event in 2006 at my children’s k-8 school because I was the third parent to be diagnosed under 50. I wanted to bring awareness to the symptoms of colorectal cancer, guidelines and the need to know family history. I also reached out to the media.

In 2009 I partnered with CCA [Colon Cancer Alliance] to spread it nationally, it has grown every year. It is now even listed online on the National Day Calendar and Days of the year.”

We devoted our March 5 meeting to learning more about Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer. Drs. Kimmie Ng, Laura Porter, Shuji Ogino, and Phil Quirke described their work to understand and provide for patient needs, and to better understand the epidemiology and biology of this disease.

Our Patient Advocates, all survivors of CRC, have also recognized this month by contributing blogs on our website about their journeys through cancer to advocacy.

Colon cancer awareness is a way of life for OPTIMISTICC team members. Nevertheless, sharing this hour together in blue and learning from each other helped reinforce our collective vision of a world where no one dies from this disease.