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Writing Children’s Books While Battling Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer, With Sherri Graves Smith

Sherri Graves Smith

Writing Children’s Books While Battling Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer, With Sherri Graves Smith

Sherri Graves Smith is the author of three children’s books series. In 2014 Sherri introduced a new series called “Lil’ Sherri” in which the author, as a six-year-old, narrates age-appropriate books about life lessons. Her first series, “Game Day Rules,” consists of more than 40 books licensed by colleges and professional teams in which the official team mascot teaches good sportsmanship. She also has a line of alphabet and counting books with team mascots. More information on Sherri and her books can be found on

Prior to becoming an author of children’s books, Sherri joined The Coca-Cola Company’s Legal Division as an attorney in November 2000. After taking an assignment as Assistant Division Counsel for Coca-Cola Ltd. in Toronto, Canada, Sherri was being considered for a three-year position in Vienna, Austria. Her career came to an abrupt halt after a routine visit to the doctor revealed that Sherri had cancer. In November 2007, at the age of 36, Sherri was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and immediately began an aggressive course of treatments that included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.

Presently, Sherri is continuing in her battle against cancer, which was diagnosed as a chronic condition in 2010. While on daily chemotherapy, she refocused her love of children to writing children’s books.

Prior to her illness, Sherri volunteered at homeless shelters and schools tutoring children to read. In addition to tutoring, she was an active participant in urban Atlanta schools and taught law courses in order to encourage youth to seek careers in the law.

In January 2014, Sherri was named the 2013 Author of the Year by her publisher, Mascot Books ( She was recognized for her superior achievements in storytelling and writing and a demonstrated passion for literature. Mascot Books donated $1000 in her name to the Atlanta Cancer Care Foundation.

Listen to Sherri Tell Her Story:


Cancer is So Funny, With Amy Marash

Cancer is So Funny, Amy Marash

Cancer is So Funny – Amy Marash

Amy Marash is a colon cancer survivor. She works as a visual artist at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Arts-In-Medicine program. Her book,  Cancer Is So Funny!contains emotional cartoon sketches that convey Amy’s feelings about her experience with colon cancer.

I use drawing and cartooning to process my experience, and humor to cope and get even – Amy Marash

Check out Amy’s blog: Cancer is So Funny

Visit Amy’s Facebook page

Download a PDF version of Amy’s book

Purchase Amy’s book on Amazon:

Easing the Effects of Colon Cancer Through Running, With Claudia Kittock

Claudia KittockClaudia Kittock is a 10 year survivor of colon cancer. She experienced wonderful care, rigorous treatment and “the outcome we all pray for.”  The most shocking part of the experience was to discover that once the treatments were over, her journey had just begun. Healing her body and soul was a long and arduous process with little guidance or help. She had to discover how to get well on her own, and after 3 years of daily effort, she found herself well again.

Today, Claudia runs over 20 miles a week and finds herself healthier than ever. She chronicled her personal journey through cancer, in her book, Health Through Chaos. She also shares her thoughts, on her blog by the same title.

Claudia has used her love of running to give back to the Minneapolis, Minnesota community. Through Mile in My Shoes, she, along with the local running community, have partnered with two homeless shelters to  foster wellness, empathy and empowerment by forming running teams with their guests.

Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation – Raising Awareness in the African-American Community

LaTashia and George Kiel

Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation – LaTashia and George Kiel

George and LaTashia Kiel founded the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation in memory of George’s mother who lost her battle with Colon Cancer at the age of 59. The mission of the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation is to educate the public about colon cancer, support colon cancer research, advocate for appropriate screening measures and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

The signature event for the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation is the Kick & Roll Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.

“Because of the ignorance that most of us embody in regards to the disease, I am on a mission to push colorectal cancer, the disease that stole my mother too soon, down the list of most frequently diagnosed cancers through education, public outreach, research, and various other initiatives, but mainly through the encouragement of conquering its most prevalent behavioral risk factors – physical inactivity, obesity and diet.” – George Kiel III

Click Here to follow the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation on Facebook

Click Here to follow the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation on Twitter

Click Here to follow the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation on Instagram

Video: The Story Behind Kiel Colon Cancer’s Air Jordan “Project V-A” Customs:

Easing the Effects of Colon Cancer Through Yoga, With Jean DiCarlo-Wagner

unnamedJean DiCarlo-Wagner faced Stage IIIC colon cancer in 2003, with her doctors giving her a 50/50 chance for five-year survival. Fortunately, her surgery and chemotherapy were successful, but her journey from diagnosis to recovery was challenging. After a 20-year career as an education resource specialist, her diagnosis and poor prognosis forced her to retire. However, she found a new career in teaching yoga for cancer survivors. Jean and her husband, Chris, have one grown daughter and are active hosts. They keep busy with an art studio built on their property and rescuing golden retrievers.

Jean DiCarlo Wagner demonstrates her gentle yoga while lying in bed:


Visit Jean’s Website, Yoga


Watch Jean demonstrate gentle yoga:

Riding His Motorcycle To Raise Awareness About FAP and Colon Cancer, With Todd Spurrier

Todd SpurrierTodd Spurrier has spent 19 months riding his Ducati motorcycle over 57, 000 miles all over America to raise awareness for FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis) and Colorectal Cancer.

As he states on his website,

The mission of DESTINATION X RIDE (DXR) is to save lives by unleashing awareness on the masses about three related conditions impacting thousands of people, including me and my family: colorectal cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and desmoid tumors by broadcasting the message as widely and as loudly as possible that early screenings can prevent much more serious stages of these diseases.

Here are some of the organizations that have been important to Todd and his mission:

The Colon Cancer Alliance



Reel Recovery


Pregnant and on Chemotherapy, With Betsy Henson

Betsy Henson and her baby, Ellie

Pregnant and on chemotherapy, with Betsy Henson

Can you imagine being 20 weeks pregnant and being told you must start chemotherapy immediately? This happened to Betsy Henson. Betsy began feeling extremely weak. After several visits to the emergency room, for what she thought were severe hemorrhoids, her doctor ordered a colonoscopy.

Her worst fears were realized when it was discovered she had colon cancer that had metastasized  to her liver. Her team of doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) got right to work putting together a treatment plan to treat Betsy’s cancer as well as safeguard her baby.

Click here to see Betsy share her story, and meet her daughter, Ellie.



The Cancer Olympics, With Dr. Robin McGee

Robin McGee

The Cancer Olympics – Dr. Robin McGee

Robin McGee was diagnosed with stage 3C rectal cancer after years of bungled and inadequate medical attention. Later on, she discovered that the best-practice chemotherapy was not available in Nova Scotia, Canada, where she lives.  After her very delayed diagnosis, she reached out to her community using a blog entitled “Robin‘s Cancer Olympics.”  The uplifting and humorous posts and responses followed her through the harsh landscape of cancer treatment and provincial politics.  She and her community were ultimately successful in lobbying the government for the chemotherapy to be approved, but too late for her to receive it.  She also sought medical justice, and the doctors who disregarded her were investigated and disciplined by their College. Since entering remission, she has been extremely active in patient advocacy, serving as a patient representative on several provincial, national, and international initiatives aimed at improving cancer care. Her book, The Cancer Olympics
relates her story.  It is an International Book Award 2015 Finalist, and has received 5-star reviews from Kirkus IndieReader and Reader’s Favorite.  In 2015, the Canadian Cancer Society awarded Robin their highest honor, the National Medal of Courage.

Purchase The Cancer Olympics:

You’re Never Too Young for Colorectal Cancer, with Kimberly Bishop

Kimberly Bishop

You’re Never Too Young for Colorectal Cancer, With Kimberly Bishop

For several years, Kimberly Bishop was told by her doctor, despite obvious symptoms,  that she was too young to have colorectal cancer. As her symptoms worsened, her doctor finally sent her for a colonoscopy where a 13cm cancerous polyp was discovered at the recto-sigmoid junction. Kimberly was just 34 when she was diagnosed with rectal cancer. After surgery and six months of FOLFOX chemotherapy, Kimberly remains NED, 8 years after her initial diagnosis.

What I Learned From Kimberly Bishop

  • Don’t ignore the symptoms of colorectal cancer.

    • You know what is, and is not normal for your body. Talk to your doctor. If you have persistent symptoms, insist on a colonoscopy.

  • Support can come from many places.

    • If a spouse or partner is unable to provide the support you need, turn to friends or other family members.



Choosing to Lead a Positive Life With AFAP, With Daniel Shockley

Daniel Shockley

Choosing a Positive Life With AFAP, With Daniel Shockley

Daniel Shockley is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. At the age of 50 he was diagnosed with AFAP, Attenuated Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. AFAP is a subtype of a condition known as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), which causes an increased number of colon polyps, and therefore, an increased risk of colon cancer in the people who have it.

Though faced with life saving and life-altering surgery, Daniel has chosen to live a positive life.

My mindset from the onset can best be described as: I tend not to think about things I am unable to control; medical issues I am unable to control. What I can control is my positive attitude – Daniel Shockley

What I Learned From Daniel Shockley

  •  Understand as much as you can about your condition

    • Understanding your condition will help you adapt and will allow you to press on with your life.

  • Worrying doesn’t help.

    • In Daniel’s words “worrying didn’t cause my condition;  therefore,worrying will not make it go away.”

Daniel has made advocacy his life’s work. Here are the organizations that Daniel is working with:

The Colon Cancer Alliance

Fight Colorectal Cancer

Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation

National Organization of Rare Disorders

Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse Society

United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc.


Michael’s Mission

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