Fight Colorectal Cancer calls on Congress

The depths of my senses are on edge. I hear the whipping wind outside my door while the sunshine pours through the window at my back. I have only to turn around in my seat to see the dust dancing in small clouds of gray across the yard while the blue sky kisses the back edge of the pasture. The horses are kicking up their hooves; enjoying a day of play in not hot weather, but just right temperatures. They circle the trees; first trotting then loping beyond my sight. Within this day filled with blue skies and sunshine there is more normalcy than I could have ever imagined this time 15 years ago, in great part due to the efforts of Fight Colorectal Cancer. Back then, I was only months into a diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer and the world seemed to be falling apart at the seams. I don't even remember if there was such a Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Those were the days when coping with colon cancer was new, and I cried much more than I laughed. There was despair, anguish, anger and frustration. Questions and doubts hung heavily in the air. All that had seemed perfect just months before felt dangerously close to disappearing. I looked at my children and fell to pieces; not knowing how to hold on from one minute to the next. I would grab Ronnie's hand and cry with the realization that in old age it would probably not be me that was sharing his golden years. It took the help of old friends, my family and new friends to help me struggle through the fear and loneliness to slowly accepting the new normal that crept in and quickly encompassed every minute of each day.How thankful I am for the army of goodwill that surrounded me...both from the spirit and warmth of organizations to the endless list of names that were rarely farther than a phone call away. Today, many of those angels are marching on Capitol Hill with Fight Colorectal Cancer. I'm usually there but spending time this year with my bubbly 6 year old who has just finished up her Spring Break. Although I'm not physically walking the Halls of Congress or personally knocking on the doors of my elected officials (Representative Hensarling, Senator Cruse and Senator Cornyn), I am making phone calls and sending letters. This year, I'm proud to say that Fight Colorectal Cancer has made an even bigger impact than ever before at Call on Congress! The first two days advocates were briefed on important issues in colorectal cancer and learned how to communicate with legislators as well as hearing from experts across the United States who discussed research funding, emerging science and the current state of policies that impact colorectal cancer. Advocates around the country also helped to create Blue Star States across the nation!Today is the biggest day of all, where advocates go to the Hill and visit their elected officials. They share their voices and empowering stories; ensuring the importance of colorectal cancer and establishing it as a national priority. It is here that my voice, your voice and the voices of those who may not even know about colorectal cancer are represented. It is because of these very special advocates that my children and your children may soon live in a world where colon cancer is a cancer of the past. To learn more about what advocates are accomplishing or to be a part of Call on Congress next year, visit Preventable, Treatable, Beatable!! Suzanne Lindley has been living with metastatic colorectal cancer since 1998. She is the founder of YES! Beat Liver Tumors, an organization for individuals living with metastatic liver tumors, and an advocate for Fight Colorectal Cancer.