From the Desk of Michael Sapienza
Welcome to the Chris4Life blog, we are happy to launch some very exciting programs for all of you. Since we started Chris4life we have made some amazing strides in the fight against Colorectal Cancer. This year alone we launched our Chris4life Colorectal Cancer Resource DVD, pledged $1.6 million to cutting edge research, funded over 400 applications for the Chris4Life Fund, and held awareness events all across the country. Welcome to our redesigned website that was created just for you. Please spend some time learning about all of the resources that we have for you. We will be updating this blog a couple times a week, and we very much want this to be your blog as well. Please send us a short email if you are interested in writing a small piece about your fight against this disease.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support that everyone has given to Chris4Life, and please enjoy the new site. Below is a short story that I wrote about how we started Chris4Life.
In 2006 my mother, friend and inspiration, Chris Sapienza, was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. To say that it was devastating is an understatement. This was a woman who dedicated her life to others, many would call her a “force for good in this world”. Mom had a loving husband, four children (two of whom were adopted at a very young age), two successful businesses, and a smile that would melt you ever so sweetly.
Over the next three years, we as a family had to endure what, in my opinion, was one of the things humans can experience in life. There was fear, pain, grief, good news, then fear, pain, and grief all over again. It was almost as if as soon as we would get up, we would be knocked down again and again. One of the most painful memories of my life came about three months before my mom passed away. She had been in and out of the hospital for weeks, and on one occasion was bent over on the stairs in our foyer crying/screaming in pain. The look of fear in her face will be something I will never forget. She was terrified, to the point that the fear had crippled any thinking of anything else but that she was dying. This is still in my mind, the impetus for fighting to make sure not another single human being will ever have to suffer from this preventable disease again.
It was 9:00 am on May 11th, 2009, the day after mother’s day, that our mother, wife, friend, and inspiration passed away at the early age of 59.
After mom passed, I remembered many times her bringing up the fact that no one ever talked about colon cancer. That it wasn’t sexy to talk about it. It wasn’t pink, and unfortunately, was still the second leading cause of cancer related deaths with over 150,000 new cases a year, and 55,000 deaths. She had such passion, to the point where she was almost mad that she never heard about getting screened on tv, radio, in the newspapers, or, like breast cancer, in the NFL.
In August of 2009 I was watching Ted Kennedy’s funeral on tv, and it truly inspired me. We as a family had been dealt a blow similar to the experiences that the Kennedy’s unfortunately had been dealt over and over. I remember hearing his family talk about how when Ted was knocked down he would always transform a tragedy into something positive, life changing at times.
This is what Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation is. We are an organization that has truly turned the tragedy of a loved one into a “force for good” for millions of Americans.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish that I could give my mom a big hug, share dinners, movies and holidays together. But in my opinion my mom’s life (like many other that came before and after her) have given the ultimate sacrifice to rid this world of Colon Cancer.
Are you at Risk For Colorectal Cancer?
- 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women combined
- Colonoscopies not only discover cancer, but can also stop cancer
- 50% of Americans still do not get colonoscopy reimbursement
- Colon cancer research is still vastly under-funded