In 2003, we were in Philadelphia with the Colossal Colon® when a beautiful young woman walked up. We were shocked when she introduced herself as Erika Kratzer, a stage IV colon cancer survivor.
Erika was diagnosed with colon cancer in November 2000 at the age of 22. She was given very little hope that she would live, but after three surgeries and one recurrence, Erika has been cancer-free since November 2001.
As we stood around the Colossal Colon, we talked about The Colon Club’s goal of educating people in crazy ways. Erika started joking about how much fun it would be to put together a calendar of young colorectal cancer survivors. Together, we began to throw ideas around and at some point, the ColondarSM became a reality in all of our minds. The Colondar is dedicated to Erika not only because it was her idea, but also because she is the ultimate inspiration.
In the spring of 2004, we took the first steps toward the 2005 Colondar thinking, “It’ll be easy! We’ll just get twelve girls, we’ll take some pictures…” and we had such a good time that we’ve been doing it ever since.