Archive | April, 2015

Conquering the Psychological Effects of Colon Cancer, with Ed Yakacki III

Ed Yakacki III

Conquering the Psychological Effects of Colon Cancer, With Ed Yakacki III

Ed Yakacki III was diagnosed with colon cancer at the young age of 30. Ed faced two battles; conquering the physical effects of colon cancer, and conquering the psychological effects of colon cancer after treatment. Trying to go back to a “normal” life after treatment is a serious issue for many cancer survivors. Like many survivors, Ed struggled to find meaning to his life after completing his colon cancer treatment. Ed battled several issues including depression. Participating in the Philadelphia Undy 5K run was the impetus for his transition from survivor to “thrivor.”

What I Learned from Ed Yakacki III

  • It will take time to find your “new” normal after your colon cancer treatment is over.

    • Be gentle with yourself. You’ve been through a traumatic experience. The things that were important to you before treatment may no longer matter to you now. Your values will likely change as a result of your experience.

  • When you struggle to pick yourself up, let others lift you up.

    • Ed credits the wonderful people he met at the Philadelphia Undy, with helping him to find meaning in his post-treatment life.

  • One person can make their voice heard.

Check out Ed’s Facebook page, Fightin4Blue

Visit Ed’s Fightin4Blue website

Check out Ed’s TV appearance:




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From Swimsuit Model to Colon Cancer Survivor and Advocate, with Grace De La Rosa

Grace De La Rosa

Grace De La Rosa – Colon Cancer Survivor and Advocate

Grace De La Rosa is a colon cancer survivor and works tirelessly advocating for colon cancer related issues. She has always made her health and well-being one of the priorities in her life. A swimwear and fitness model, and fitness competitor, exercise and healthy eating have always been a part of her lifestyle, yet at age 38, she was diagnosed with stage 3c colon cancer.

What I Learned From Grace De La Rosa

  • Know your body and don’t ignore the possible symptoms of colon cancer.
    • You know your body. When you sense something has changed and is not right, let your doctor know.
  • One person can make a difference.
  • One person can make their voice heard.
    • Grace has appeared on TV, in the newspaper and has made numerous speaking engagements, where she has shared her story. She was also instrumental in getting Florida Governor, Rick Scott, to declare Florida a “Blue State” in support of Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

Listen to Grace tell her story:



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Living Life With a Hereditary Colon Cancer Syndrome, with Travis Bray, PhD.

Travis & Shawnie It Takes Guts shirts

Shawnie and Travis Bray, PhD. – Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation

Like his grandfather and father before him, Travis Bray was born with F.A.P. – Familial Adenomatous Polyposis – “a rare, hereditary colon cancer syndrome that causes extra tissue (polyps) to form in the large intestine and in the upper part of your small intestine (duodenum).” The vast majority of people with F.A.P. will be stricken with colon cancer in their early thirties.

In July of 2012, Travis and his wife Shawnie founded the Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation.

What I Learned From Travis H. Bray, PhD.

  • With screening and proper treatment, people diagnosed with F.A.P. can lead a normal life.

    • Being diagnosed with F.A.P. is not a death sentence.

  • Know your family health history before it becomes necessary.

    • Travis knew that both his grandfather and father had died from colon cancer and were carriers of the F.A.P. gene. He began to be screened in his early teens.

  • Live life to its fullest.

    • Travis makes it a priority to make every day a great day. He constantly evaluates his priorities, and where and how he spends his time. There’s no room in his life for negativity.

Learn more about Dr. Travis Bray and F.A.P.:


Learn more about The Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation by visiting their website:

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“It’s Not Harder Than Cancer” – With Author, Michael Holtz

Michael Holtz

Michael Holtz – “It’s Not Harder Than Cancer”

Michael Holtz is a stage 3 colon cancer survivor and author of the new book, It’s Not Harder Than Cancer. During our conversation, Michael talks about his career with the American Cancer Society, and how his personal experience with colon cancer, compelled him to make a career change and leave the American Cancer Society. Disagreeing with those who call their own experience with cancer, “a gift” (he said it’s a gift he would like to return), he does acknowledge how his experience with the disease has resulted in new friendships, a stronger marriage and a greater focus on gratitude for even the smallest things life has given him.

What I Learned From Michael Holtz

  • You can live a normal life with a colostomy.

    • Michael recently completed a 26.2 mile marathon!

  • Surviving cancer can impact your life in a positive way.

    • Michael has experienced new friendships, new career opportunities and stronger personal relationships since conquering colon cancer.

  • Your friends & family “portrait” after cancer will not look the same as the one before your illness.

    • A common theme; some friends and family will vanish into the shadows during your illness, only to be replaced by people you weren’t expecting to be there for you.

Links for Michael Holtz:

Michael’s website: Michael Holtz Online

Buy Michael’s Book on “It’s Not Harder Than Cancer”

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