We know it's April Fools Day and all but our newest Colondar model to be featured throughout April is no joke. Dan's a marathoner who's run a race in all 50 states. His story is inspiring, encouraging and eye-opening. Read on to learn a little bit more about Mr. April 2012, Dan Wilson!
The BASICS about DAN WILSON
Name: Dan Wilson
Diagnosis date: Stage III colon cancer in December 2005
ON SURVIVING CANCER:
Where were you when you found out you had colon cancer? At first, I thought I had hemorrhoids. My brother-in-law is a doctor and my sister is a nurse. The worse my symptoms got, the more worried I became. They advised me to get it checked up. I had a great doc who sent me in for a colonoscopy. I woke up from the procedure seeing a picture of my cancer.
How did you feel when you were diagnosed with colon cancer? It couldn't happen to me.
What were your symptoms? Bleeding, fatigue, nauseated
What did your treatment involve? I had surgery for a resection and then six months of chemo.
What was the hardest part about treatment? Having neuropathy and not being able to do the things I normally did.
What got you through cancer treatment? Being a marathoner, I was always anxious to get back in shape. I ran a 6-hour marathon while I was on chemo and I had a treatment the next day. I took the medal into the oncologist and showed her I ran a marathon. I just had to do it.
Does cancer run in your family? My aunt had colon cancer and another aunt had another type of cancer. My sister had throat cancer. I had genetic testing, but nothing came of that.
WHAT HAS SURVIVING COLON CANCER TAUGHT YOU…
About life? Don’t take things for granted. A lot of people take stuff for granted... they worry that this and that’s going to happen. We could be here today and gone tomorrow. I definitely appreciate life more.
About family? The ones who helped get me through were most of my family. They showed so much love and support.
About your body? I've always heard rumors about studies on athletes saying your immune system can get run down and doesn’t have chance to fight diseases. A lot of ultra runners are getting cancer. I wonder if it's because their immune systems are down, and that has anything to do with it. I still try to eat healthy and stay fit.
Do you do anything now that you didn’t before, thanks to cancer? I got married.
Has cancer changed your life for the better in any ways? I respect people a lot more. Before cancer I was always stressed out. I don’t let things bother me anymore. I'm a little bit more laid back because life is so precious now. It took awhile to get back in shape but incredibly, in 2007 I ran all of my fastest times ever for 50miles, marathons, 50ks, 100-mile races and more.
What do you hope your message and survival story will do for others? I hope it keeps people positive and encourages them to have a positive attitude. That’s what you need to keep going.
RANDOM INFO ABOUT DAN
Family: wife - Beiyi. Because they met through fitness and both loved running, they ran 7 miles to the top of a Denver mountain at their wedding, changed clothes and got married on a mountaintop, and then ran back down in their wedding attire.
Job? Commercial construction
Collect anything? Medals from marathons and ultras
Hobbies? It took me 6 years to run the 50 states in 2004; I finished in Honolulu, HI and jumped in the ocean afterwards.
Where are you from? Denver, CO
Craziness? THREE WEEKS after I was finished with all of my treatments I ran Pike’s Peak marathon. (It was my slowest time ever by 2 hours) But, I finished it, was my 11th. I don’t think people enjoyed being passed by someone who had just finished chemo.