My loving, sensitive, generous, kind, and compassionate baby brother is in the fight of his life. In August 2019, he was diagnosed with stage III esophageal adenocarcinoma (ECA). The average age of diagnosis for this awful disease is 67, almost twice the age he is now. In the days following this life-changing diagnosis, he was faced with conversations regarding treatment options, surgical procedures and tried to make sense of what his future would be like living with cancer. He remains determined in fighting and beating this deadly disease, with a positive attitude and the best treatment available.
As his big-sister, I insisted that my brother receive the best care possible. I was determined to be an advocate for him by researching the newest treatment options, seeking out a second and third opinion, and ensuring he had a voice in his care. I realized through this process that many cancer patients may not have an advocate and therefore have made it my mission is to educate as many people as I can regarding the facts of esophageal cancer in order to raise awareness for this disease.
As a tribute to my brother, who is in the fight of his life, it is my duty to spread the word that this devastating disease can strike anyone and that every cancer patient deserves an advocate. Starting in June 2020, I will be riding my bike from Salt Lake City, UT to Peoria, IL to raise money for the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association. I am leaving from Huntsman Cancer Hospital and will arrive 15 days later at Illinois Cancer Care in Peoria, IL. My goal is to raise money for awareness, talk to as many people as I can about this disease, share the facts, and promote advocacy in patient care.