March 5, 2019 -- Behind a message of “On the Rise,” a national magazine highlighting young adults under the age of 50 being diagnosed at an alarming rate with colorectal cancer. Portland resident, Meredith Willcox will be one of nine people featured in this national magazine publication. Meredith was diagnosed at a far-earlier age than the recommended screening age, and discovered quickly her disease was Stage IV. Faced with her own mortality, Meredith made life-changing decisions that she said prior to the diagnosis, she was too scared to make. In addition, Willcox and the other models featured in this year’s publication of “On the Rise” will join forces with Fight CRC in Washington D.C. in March 2019, to lobby for additional cancer research funds and policy change for colon cancer prevention.
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cancer killer in the U.S. of men and women combined. Meredith has two daughters, recently bought her own home, and is remodeling it to the home of her dreams all by herself. In addition to juggling her children and her career, Willcox is working to spread colorectal cancer advocacy with the hopes that her story will help save lives.
“The Colon Club and the opportunity to model for their magazine, On the Rise, gave me a chance to share my story, no matter how complicated and messy, with the public. It helped me process the difficulty steps I had to take last year and give me the confidence that I was making the right choices for myself and my girls. When faced with my mortality, I knew the time was now to make the tough choices I had put off for so long. If I can help someone facing the same choice to gain the courage to take that step to independence and happiness, putting myself out there is worth it,” explains Willcox.
Willcox’s story is one of nine stories published in the 2019 publication of “On the Rise.” This magazine published by The Colon Club, allows for young people, under the age of 50, to share their colon cancer story. The national non-for-profit organization features survivors and caregivers to share their experiences of being diagnosed with the second most deadly cancer out there.
Trish Lannon, the President of The Colon Club shared: “Meredith is strong and courageous. Sharing her personal struggles of her marriage, and the tough decisions she was empowered to make because of her colon cancer diagnosis is a testament to her strength. Now, as she uses her own experience to bring awareness of early onset colorectal cancer, and the family and relationship dynamics this can create, it allows a whole new support system for others that may be facing the same thing. We are proud of Meredith and her courageousness through this diagnosis of this disease.”
To learn more about The Colon Club, please visit their website: www.colonclub.com
About Colorectal Cancer
Colon and rectal cancers (colorectal cancer) make up the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women combined. Each year there’s over 130,000 cases and 50,000 deaths. The disease is preventable with screening, and 90 percent curable in most cases. One in 20 people will be diagnosed with the disease. Although incidence rates over the past decade have decreased among those age-eligible for screenings, early-onset colorectal cancer (occurrences in those under age 50) are on the rise. Discussions with a doctor about screening and knowledge of signs and symptoms are critical steps for prevention.
About The Colon Club
The Colon Club connects young adults diagnosed with colorectal cancer so they never have to feel alone. Our mission is to educate as many people as possible, specifically young adults, educating them about the risk factors, genetic precursors, and symptoms of colorectal cancer, and for people to get screened when it is appropriate for them.