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Interview With 15 yr. Cancer Survivor and Passionate Advocate Candace Henley

Candace first appeared on the podcast back in 2015. You can listen to that interview here.

Much has changed in Candace’s life since then. During our conversation we discussed:

  • How her life has changed 15 years since her original diagnosis.
  • The alarming number of questions she is asked during her advocacy work that reflect many people’s lack of knowledge about their own bodies.
  • The advocacy work she is doing, along with Dr. Andrew Albert, in the Chicago area.
  • The growth of her non-profit, The Blue Hat Foundation.
  • The reason why many people of color are distrustful of the medical community.

Links mentioned in this episode

The Blue Hat Foundation –

Call On Congress –

Candace on Instagram –

Candace on Twitter –

The Blue Hat Foundation on Twitter –

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Charles Griffin Jr. Copes With His Stage IV Cancer Through Faith and Positivity

Charles Griffin Jr.

Charles Griffin Jr. Copes With His Stage IV Cancer Through Faith and Positivity

Charles Griffin, Jr. was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at the age of 32. Shortly after, he discovered the Colon Cancer Alliance through their Facebook group COLONTOWN. It opened his eyes to the wonderful community of support for those impacted by this disease! Read his story below. 

In my 34 years of life, I’ve earned a reputation for being a do-it-all kind of guy. I’m a husband to my college sweetheart Britni, a father to our four young daughters, a former college football star, an avid golfer, a motivational speaker, a YouTube entertainer and a novice screenwriter.  My name is Charles Griffin Jr. and I never thought I would be a stage IV colon cancer patient. I’m reaching out to you today to ask you to join me in supporting the Colon Cancer Alliance. Two years ago, I suffered excruciating abdominal pain while playing golf. With no family history and no additional symptoms, I had to beg my doctor for a colonoscopy which revealed a golf ball-size tumor in my colon. Further testing showed the cancer had metastasized with multiple tumors to my lungs and liver. I was in the prime of my life with a beautiful family and a budding career when I got the worst news imaginable. I had stage IV colon cancer. Shortly thereafter, I discovered the Colon Cancer Alliance through their Facebook group Colontown. It opened my eyes to the wonderful community of support for those of us impacted by this disease. But now that I’m two years into my treatment, I’m eager for a cure, or at least treatment options that aren’t as taxing on my body. That’s why I support the Colon Cancer Alliance and their deep commitment to colon cancer-specific research. The Colon Cancer Alliance has taken an even bolder stance on research going forward, committing publicly to grow its investment in colorectal cancer-specific research to $10 million by 2021. Research that could ultimately save my life. I’m proud that the Colon Cancer Alliance is on the cutting-edge, exploring immunotherapy, biomarkers and personalized medicine. In 2016 alone, the Colon Cancer Alliance, in partnership with the Never Too Young Coalition, funded two grants to help researchers explore young-onset colorectal cancer in an attempt to better understand why people under the age of 50, like myself, are being diagnosed with this devastating disease. This is where you come in. Through your generous donation, the Colon Cancer Alliance will be able to expand its funding for life-saving and innovative research, putting us closer to realizing our vision of eliminating colon cancer in our lifetime. With your support, there will be a future for me and the thousands of other colon cancer patients waiting for a cure. Please give today. I am the reason Tomorrow Can’t Wait. Click here to listen to me tell my story.

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Pride, Love and Cancer, With Paula and Lara Chambers

Pride, Love and Cancer, With Paula and Lara Chambers - WE Have Cancer

Pride, Love and Cancer, With Paula and Lara Chambers – WE Have Cancer

Paula and Lara Chambers are high school sweethearts and have been together for over 30 years. In October of 2014 they traveled from their home in Houston, Texas to New York City so that they could be married.

Paula had been dealing with “stomach issues” for some time. Unfortunately she became very ill immediately after the wedding and soon after was diagnosed with Colon Cancer.

In our conversation we talked about their relationship and the challenges that gay couples may face when dealing with a life-changing event like a cancer diagnosis.

Paula and Lara said they could not have gotten through their diagnosis with out the support of ColonTown and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

To learn more about Colontown, visit

To learn more about the Colorectal Cancer Alliance,

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How One Doctor Is Working to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Dr. Andrew Albert

How One Doctor Is Working to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Dr. Andrew Albert is a Board Certified Gastroenterologist and serves patients in Chicago at his practice, Chicago Gastro.

After losing a patient to colon cancer he was at his wit’s end. “Colon Cancer is 95% preventable if people would only get screened” he said.

An avid cyclist, Dr. Albert decided to voice his frustration and let people know the importance of early screening. He hastily scribbled a note on the back of a manila folder that read:

“Lost a patient to Colon Cancer. Did not need to happen. Get your colonoscopy.”

He clipped this handmade sign to his back and rode through the streets of Chicago. Day after day he continued to travel the streets of Chicago wearing this sign, raising awareness. He shared the message on social media and soon after received photos from people across the world wearing their own signs that bared a similar message. Local news stations picked up the story as well. Here’s his story as shared by the CBS affiliate in Chicago.


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How to Communicate With Your Healthcare Team, With Eddie Leigh

How to Communicate With Your Healthcare Team, With Eddie Leigh

How to Communicate With Your Healthcare Team, With Eddie Leigh

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. The emotions behind hearing the words “you have cancer” can often cloud a patient’s ability to comprehend the information being shared by the medical team as well as the patient’s ability to ask important questions.

Eddie Leigh is a 20 year survivor of colorectal cancer and is the Founder and Director of The Center for Healthcare Communication. According to the website:

“The Center for Healthcare Communication’s mission is to increase patient satisfaction/safety and decrease communication-related medical errors.”

With years of experience teaching healthcare professionals how to effectively communicate, Eddie was a logical choice to bring on the show to teach patients how to communicate effectively with their healthcare team.

Tips for Communicating With Your Healthcare Team

  • Prepare a medical resume that includes your history of surgeries, allergies, current medications and family history.
  • Prepare a list of questions for your healthcare professional ahead of time. Review and rehearse them.
  • Follow the A-B-C’s: Always Be Courteous
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How to Talk to Your Children About Your Cancer

Most people do everything on their power to avoid having difficult conversations. I can’t think of a more difficult conversation then having to tell your children you have cancer. I’ve had to do this on several occasions and even though I’m the parent of adult children it is incredibly hard. I couldn’t imagine having to share this type of news with young children.

I first met Diana Sloan at the Colon Cancer Alliance’s Stage IV Symposium in Mesa, Arizona in the fall of 2016, but it was a recent Facebook post where she wrote about a recent talk she had with her eight year-old daughter that really caught my eye. In this post she talked about how she talked about life and death with her little girl. The honesty, vulnerability and tenderness that shined through these written words truly touched my heart.

When I reached out to Diana to ask if she’d be willing to share this story on the podcast she said “yes” without any hesitation. I hope you will be as moved as I was and take away some advice on how to talk with your children about sensitive topics like this one.

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Creating and Crowdfunding a Colorectal Cancer Clinical Trial

Creating and Crowdfunding a Colorectal Cancer Clinical Trial

Creating and Crowdfunding a Colorectal Cancer Clinical Trial

Many of our listeners know Dr. Tom Marsilje. Tom was a guest on the show in 2016. He is currently crowdfunding a UCSD (University of California, San Diego) CRC clinical trial. Because of the timing of this critical project, along with the challenges that The Colon Cancer Podcast experienced due to Hurricane Irma, we decided to rebroadcast this episode.

Learn more about Dr. Tom Marsilje’s Clinical Trial by visiting:



How does someone go from the best day of their life to the worst in under 12 hours? Dr. Tom Marsilje knows. In June, 2012 he was recognized for his work, co-discovering a drug for lung cancer. Hours later a colonoscopy revealed he had colon cancer.

During our conversation, Tom discusses his journey. He talks about how his diagnosis motivated him to become a long distance runner, renew his faith and begin writing a blog; Adventures in Living Terminally Optimistic.

Cancer patients need to be their own advocates. There’s no
reason to suffer if there are resources to help. Most cancer
centers now offer palliative care, nutrition counseling, clinical
trials and psycho-social support for cancer patients – ask if a
doctor doesn’t bring it up.

Important Links:

Tom’s Blog: Adventures In Living Terminally Optimistic

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Tabitha Cavanagh Finds Her Healing Through Helping Others

Tabitha Cavanaugh Finds Her Healing Through Helping Others

Tabitha Cavanagh Finds Her Healing Through Helping Others

Tabitha Cavanagh was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer in January of 2017. She was 31 years old and had a little girl and had just gotten married.

Tabitha completed chemotherapy in July of 2017 and immediately plunged herself into exercise as a way to heal her mind and body. On her Facebook page, Grit to Greatness, she tells her story:

My new beginning all started in January 2017 when I was unexpectedly diagnosed with colon cancer at the young age of 31. I knew, in that moment, my life would never be the same.

Out of nowhere, cancer chose me. I most certainly did not choose it. I was a new mom & newly married. Cancer didn’t care. What I did choose was positivity. I CHOSE to see it as a blessing! I realized, sometimes, beautiful things can blossom in the most unlikely places.

My cancer journey has proven to be the best & worst thing that has ever happened to me. I learned that by creating a stronger mindset, I could get through anything. In finding my GRIT, I discovered my GREAT.

We don’t always get to choose what happens to us. We CAN, however, choose what we do with it.

GRIT TO GREATNESS is designed to be a space where you can come to be inspired to find your GRIT and, ultimately, find your GREAT. All you need to do is show up! Maybe, just maybe, this is where it all begins.

GRIT is about persisting despite your circumstances. GRIT is rising up, facing your mountain and climbing it … GRIT means investing in yourself.

I promise, just on the other side of your GRIT is your GREAT.

…and this, my friends, is how Grit to Greatness was born.

Let’s journey together!



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What Every Colorectal Cancer Patient Should Know, With Dr. Tim Cannon

What Every Colorectal Cancer Patient Should Know, With Dr. Tim Cannon

What Every Colorectal Cancer Patient Should Know, With Dr. Tim Cannon

Dr. Cannon is a specialty care physician board certified in medical oncology. He has a special interest in management of gastrointestinal malignancies including colorectal cancer.

Dr. Cannon is the clinical director and moderator of the weekly molecular tumor board at Inova, which matches patients with targeted therapies based on molecular diagnostics. He is very interested in national cooperative group clinical trials and is a member of the NRG colorectal and non-colorectal clinical trials committee. He is the site principal investigator for multiple clinical trials in immunotherapy.

Dr. Cannon was the chief fellow of hematology/oncology at New York University (NYU). He was voted fellow of the year at NYU during each of his last 2 years there. He received a “best doctor” award by Northern Virginia magazine in 2015.

Important Links Mentioned in the Podcast

Colon Cancer Alliance Clinical Trial Finder

National Cancer Institute Clinical Trial Finder


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