In November 2009, I was diagnosed with signet ring cell colon cancer and having been out of work for over a year, this couldn’t have come at a worse time. I was at a real low spot in my life with the miracle happened…I found Strides for Life. In a very short period of time I was being scheduled for surgery. I went from being “sad and all alone” to feeling “lucky and full of joy”. Having Strides for Life on my side changed everything. My story ends even better than it started. I had a section of my colon removed and 20 lymph nodes checked was cancer free. No chemo needed. It appears that I am living proof that early detection and treatment can save lives.

I am so grateful for the support I received from Strides for Life and want to thank everyone involved with this great cause. I’ll never forget the relieve and hope I experienced when you let me on your team. I look forward to being part of that team in the years to come.

Thank you all, Joseph Antoni
On Friday July, 1999, I was diagnosed with colon cancer and needed surgery as soon as possible. There is nothing like waking up after the colonoscopy and being told by your doctor surgery is your next step (surprise). I had a tumor the size of an organ causing blockage, so Monday, July 16th, 14 inches o fmy colon was removed. I’m truly blessed to be a 16-year survivor and I continue to pray for a cure.

Early detection and education is important no matter your age as we all know. Thanks to the Cappel Family they started the Strides for Life Foundation in memory of their angel, Dylan. There is more awareness by the young and old, in addition to lives saved due to this foundation.

It’s an honor and privilege to know and be friends with a wonderful and general family like you. Thanks for all foundation and all it provides the San Mateo Community; you are very special.

-Sammi Riley
I am very grateful to Strides for Life Colon Cancer Foundation for sponsoring my colonoscopy procedure at Atherton Endoscopy Center recently. Dr. James Torosis found a 10 mm polyp in my bowel during the examination and successfully removed it right away. After discussing the pathology analysis result with me the Nurse Practitioner Ms. Virginia Morrow at the Redwood City GI Group told me that I was lucky to have that polyp removed in time, as it could develop into cancer in 3 to 5 years. Yes, I am very lucky indeed – to have kind people like you and your organization to help me pay for the procedure. Otherwise, I would never be able to save enough money to have it checked before it developed into cancer, since my income is too low to even rent my own room. In another word – you have saved my life! I could not thank you enough for all the good work you have done to help people like myself in both cancer education and prevention. I want you to know that your good work have helped people extend their lives as well as improved the quality of their lives. Thank you again for your kindness!
Gratefully yours, Raymond Liang
“Besherit” – it was meant to be!

How do we explain how or why certain things happen in life or death? Yet, there is a purpose or reason for everything. Dylan’s death gave birth to Strides for Life, and SFL’s message has saved lives. The message is simple – EARLY DETECTION!

Dora, my mother, died at 73 of colon cancer in 1995. Apparently, Kaiser Permanente had a policy that everyone should have a colonoscopy at age 50. Somehow, Dora never received the message; her doctor never followed up; and the family was unaware of this policy.

Twenty-two years later she was experiencing issues, and she had her first colonoscopy. Even though she was 72, they decided to perform surgery, but it was too late. The cancer had spread to other vital organs included the liver, and the surgeons decided to abort any further surgery. It’s difficult not to think about it – what if she had EARLY DETECTION?

The gift that Dylan and Dora left us was in fact BESHERIT! Let’s honor their lives, and everyone that has died because of colon cancer with EARLY DETECTION!

-Isac Gutfreund
Because of Dylan (my angel), Larry, Barbara, Marissa, and Jena Rose, who are Strides for Life, I had my first colonoscopy 2 weeks ago. Going into the colonoscopy, I was not blind of what could be detected. I knew they could find polyps and even lesions. Two days later, I was told that they found a tumor. My life became of whirlwind of appointments with different specialists and tests. The next few months are not going to be easy but I am so thankful now for what Strides for Life has taught me and because of this I went NOW for my colonoscopy and not two or three years from now. Every day I am given hopeful news.

I want everyone to know why early detection is so important and that everyone 50 years old has to have a colonoscopy.

I am blessed for my faith in God, my awesome family and friends, and Strides for Life.

……..Update from Maria
On April 25, 2015 I celebrated five years colon cancer free with a Zumba party! I felt so thankful to be able to celebrate life with family and friends doing what I love to do. I know that, even though I had to go through 11 months of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and two surgeries, I did well through it all because of the information I learned by being part of STrides For Life. Had it not been for the knowledge I learned by volunteering, attending the dinner/dance fundraisers, and participating in the annual 4 mile walks, I know I would have postposed my first colonoscopy another 2 or 3 years. I will continue spreading awareness of the importance of prevention and early detection.

-Maria Rodriguez
I am an avid runner who discovered Strides for Life run two years ago through a running publication. I run it every year in memory of my husband, John Finetti, who died of colon cancer 15 years ago at the age of 33.

Strides for Life struck a chord with me for three reasons. Dylan, like John, died much too young. Strides for Life is a local, grass roots organization instead of a big corporate conglomerate. My race awards mean so much more coming from Dylan’s dad, instead of from an assistant vice president of marketing. And finally, Strides for Life’s goal of colon cancer prevention through screening and testing is so easily attained. While we all hope for a cure someday, prevention is something we can do today. I am proud to support Strides for Life in John’s memory.

Kimberly Fanady, Perennial Strides for Life Run Champion
I want to take this opportunity to thank Strides for Life, and in particular, Barbara Carey. My father, Jeff Borghello, and Step Mother, Sue Borghello, are supporters in the Strides for Life community. I have a genetic disease called Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). Every year I need to have
a colonoscopy. However, being a member of Covered California, I was unable to find a doctor that would take my insurance. That is when I was recommended to Strides for Life. Once I reached out and explained my medical background, I was immediately taken care of and recommended to a great doctor, Dr. Rengstorff. Strides for Life allowed me to get the medical attention I need. For me, health is number one and I am glad to know there are foundations, such as Strides for Life, which still make that
a priority as well.

My colonoscopy was scheduled two month ago. Two polyps were found, however only one was able to be removed successfully during the procedure due to difficulty of location. To ensure the polyp would be removed entirely, I was recommended to a colon rectal surgeon at Stanford hospital. I had my second polyp removed and I am now on my way to recovery.

I am very fortunate to have been introduced to such an incredible organization, who led me to some wonderful doctors. Strides for Life gave me the hope and help I need to live a healthy and happy life.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Lisa Borgehllo
Brian Mathy is a board member of Strides for Life and a colon cancer survivor. He was diagnosed at age 30 and because he got screened early and underwent surgery, was able to stop the disease from progressing. As part of his recovery, he started running in the annual Strides for Life Run and Walk around Lake Merced. Since then, he has become more involved in Strides for Life and is deeply thankful for the opportunity to give back and save more lives.
Brian Mathy