Archive for the ‘Financial / Resources’ Category

A Caretaker’s Story by Nadya Carlson-Bowen

As we close the month of November and National Caregivers Month, The Colon Club would like to send a special thank you to all loved ones who care for cancer patients. The level of gratefulness survivors have for their caretakers is immeasurable. We don’t know what we would do without you. Caretaker, Nadya Carlson-Bowen, has graciously shared her story below and has a message for us all.

I was born and adopted from St. Petersburg, Russia, along with my twin …

Veteran’s Day By Katie Lee

The year is 2003, and it’s March. Bush just declared war in Iraq. My boyfriend was serving in the Marine Corps in Okinawa, Japan and had just transferred to his first-choice duty station in Camp Pendleton, California. We got married in April 2003 at the courthouse on Mission Bay in beautiful San Diego, California.  For a “take a number” wedding, it was perfect for me. We had his two friends as our witnesses, and we were married. We could finally …

Becoming a Mom After Surviving Colon Cancer by Danielle Ripley-Burgess

My Story

My story of becoming a parent after cancer actually starts at age 17. It’s not because I had a teenage pregnancy, but because it’s when I lost my fertility. We were all shocked, how could I be 17 years old and fighting colon cancer? It felt unheard of, especially in 2001 when young adult colorectal cancer wasn’t recognized yet as a concerning trend and phenomenon.

In the rush to save my life, a doctor told my dad …

Make Plans by Diana Sloan

Lately I have experienced the loss of some great friends. All from colorectal cancer and way too young. These were all Stage IV patients, and they were all simply amazing in their own ways. One was a wife, stepmother, dog lover, and jet-setting world traveler. One was an educator, cherished daughter, equal rights champion, and generous friend. The last was a mother to two daughters, beloved sister (blood and sorority), Cougs fan, and Colon Club survivor. They all had very …

Meet Our Board Member: Meggan Mikal

Embrace: to accept

My name is Meggan Mikal and I am pediatric palliative care nurse practitioner. I journey with patients and their families through the toughest of diagnoses, including disease-related pain and symptoms. I sit with them as they receive good and bad news, including conversations leading up to the last breath.

As I reflect on the work I do, the word embrace takes on a much different meaning. One of the favorite stories my husband Andy and I loved …

Colon Club Board Member Profile: Ashley Flynn

Hi everyone! Take a seat, sit back, and prepare to be shocked as I tell you a little bit about myself and this evil thing called colorectal cancer.

I believe that colon cancer entered my life in 2008 when I was 21 years old. It was during this time, that I was having small amounts of infrequent blood in my poo. I brushed it off as if it was nothing. However, the blood was becoming more frequent and over time, …

Routine Disruption

By Diana Sloan

Today I am sitting in The Gazebo at MD Anderson Cancer Center waiting to meet my new oncologist. My previous oncologist has moved to a new opportunity, so I have been reassigned. This has been a little stressful because it is a disruption in my stage IV routine. Yes, I actually developed a routine with this stuff. Now it is probably one of the worst things to have become habit and familiar because hello! It’s freaking cancer! …

Colon Club Board Member Profile: Rob Vite

My name is Rob Vite. I am 37 years old. I am a five year colon cancer survivor, and this is my story:

I grew up playing sports, but I lived for football. It was my passion, release, fight and glory. As an athlete, football taught me how to connect with my body. When I started experiencing symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, dizziness, fainting, and lost of appetite. I knew something was not right.

After seeking medical care, I …

“It’s Okay to Not Be Okay in March” by Diana Sloan

As many of you know, March was Colorectal Cancer awareness month. For long-term survivors or patients like me it is a blessing and extremely hard at the same time. Don’t get me wrong. I loved seeing all the blue love out there. I also loved seeing people spreading the word about screening, early onset colon/rectal cancer, and symptoms to look out for. But for me it was a reminder that I am not okay, and neither are many of my …

The day cancer took me from anticipation to devastation — and then we danced

Tom Marsilje and his daughters

“CT scan of the abdomen shows the patient to have multiple bilateral, too numerous to count, liver lesions consistent with widespread liver metastases.”

My jaw dropped as I read the report. My vision blurred. The world before my eyes spun and came to a standstill. Reeling, I fumbled for a bench outside near a sign which proclaimed, “There is Always Hope.”
I had woken up feeling laid-back, looking forward to the father-daughter school dance that …


By Krista Wilson President of The Colon Club


Colossal Idea
Molly (McMaster) Morgoslepov was diagnosed with stage III colorectal cancer on her 23rd birthday. Feeling broken and alone she set out to and eventually met another young adult survivor – Amanda Sherwood (read their story here: It was through Amanda that Molly met Hannah Vogler and together they founded The Colon Club. Molly and Hannah soon met Erika Kratzer a stage IV survivor diagnosed at 22. They joked about …

March Blue



By Leighann Sturgin

Infusing IV fluids all day and TPN at night I have to pee…quite often. If it’s not my ostomy, it’s my bladder but I feel like I’m running to the bathroom 100 times a day. At night, I frequently dream I’m searching for a bathroom. Sometimes in my dreams I find a toilet, pee but still feel like I have to pee. Sometimes there is something wrong with every toilet I find so I can’t go. …

Colon Camp 2017


Guest Blog by Kenny Toye, Featured Survivor in 2017 Colondar

After my last chemo treatment, the nurse disconnected me from the chemo device that was attached to me every 2 weeks for two days, I thought the world would celebrate with me like I won the Super Bowl, The NBA championship and The Kentucky Derby. I realized quickly that unlike winning a championship, at the conclusion of cancer treatment; there was no trophy presentation, no Gatorade shower, no monetary bonuses, …

Starting Young

Anita and daughter

Written by Emily Mitchell (left) daughter of 2007 Colondar survivor Anita Mitchell (right)

As I thought about how to approach my 25-second graders about colon cancer awareness, all I could think about is “I don’t want to scare them” and “can they handle this”. I thought these two things for many reasons. One being that this is a very REAL issue and two being that we are talking about the parts of our body that people seem to avoid like

Health Insurance Q&A

By Andrew Elder

After my last post, The Best Defense is Good Insurance, I received an email from a recently diagnosed gentleman (we’ll call him “Mike”) through LinkedIN with several excellent follow-up questions. I replied, but it seemed that his connection in LinkedIN wasn’t working. So to be sure Mike receives my response, and to hopefully answer some questions others of you may have had, I’m including his questions and my answers below.

Bear in mind, I’m giving my …

2015 Colondar