Every year Dorie Mitchell, Director of Leadership Wilson, invites Sherry’s Run to come and present to her students. Sherry’s Run is a local non-profit that assists cancer patients. But, Sherry’s Run is also very passionate about cancer prevention and education. The organization distributes hundreds of colon cancer screening kits for FREE in partnership with several local physicians who process those kits for FREE.
Mitchell takes this one step further and requires her students to take a test kit. In order to graduate from the Leadership Wilson program, students must either take the test themselves or give it to someone else. So, when Eddie Lovin was preparing for graduation from the program in 2017, he realized his was still in the drawer and thought, “what the heck…I’ll just take it and see what happens.”
Eddie completed the test and left the envelope sitting on his dresser for several weeks before he finally mailed it in. Just a few days later he got an unexpected call saying his test results showed that he needed to have a colonoscopy.
Eddie spent the next several weeks waiting and wondering. When the day of the colonoscopy came around, he just felt relief that the waiting was over. During his procedure, three pre-cancerous polyps were found and removed. At the time, Eddie was 39 years old. Because he does have a family history of colon cancer, he would have been scheduled to have his routine colonoscopy at age 45…allowing the polyps six years to grow. It is very possible that taking the screening test saved Eddie from a colon cancer diagnosis down the road.
Now Eddie is a vocal proponent of the test kits and willing to share his story with anyone if it could save them from a cancer diagnosis. When he stood before the 2018 Leadership Wilson class recently his advice was this, “If you want to give your test kit away, be sure you get another one for yourself…just do it!” Sherry’s Run loves this idea! Why not get one for yourself and one for someone you love? After all, what better gift could you give than to save your loved one’s life?
Colorectal cancer is one of the deadliest, but also one of the most treatable when found early. The problem is that in many cases, once you have symptoms the cancer is too far progressed. This is why Sherry’s Run encourages everyone to take the at home screening test yearly. It can be completed in just a few minutes and because they make the kits available for free, you have nothing to lose! Also, please remember that the test kit does not take the place of a colonoscopy. If you have a family history of polyps and especially colon cancer, you need to make an appointment to see a gastroenterologist.