Remembering A Mother Lost to Colon Cancer
Butt Seriously welcomes guest blogger, Michael Sapienza. Michael is the executive director of Chris for Life, a colon cancer foundation in memory of his mother Chris Sapienza, who lost her life to colon cancer.
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 women who dedicated her life to others, many would call her was 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 every so sweetly.
Over the next three years what we as a family had to endure was, in my opinion, one of the worse 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 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 she 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 positive thinking. You could tell the only thing she was thinking was that she was dying. This memory is still in my mind. This memory is 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 a.m. on May 11, 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 had 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 colon cancer was still the second leading cause of cancer related deaths when men and women are combined – with over 150,000 new cases a year, and 55,000 deaths. My mother 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 through an NFL game – like breast cancer.
In August 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 Kennedys 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 others that came before and after her) have given the ultimate sacrifice to rid this world of colon cancer.Tags: 2006, butt, butt seriously, cancer screenings, Chris for Life, Chris Sapienza, colon cancer, colon cancer prevention, Michael Sapienza, Prevention Info, seriously, stop colon cancer now, Valentine's Day