Heather Schiller, a stage IV cancer survivor from Peachtree Corners, has a starring role in a national campaign to raise awareness of colorectal cancer.
Almost two years after her father died from colon cancer and three years ago today, Schiller learned she had stage 4 colon cancer. She was 34 years old, she’d had no symptoms but was suddenly unable to even drink water. She went to the ER for dehydration and an emergency colonoscopy revealed she had the same disease as her father.
Schiller, with her husband as her caregiver, underwent agressive treatment, but at the end of last year, the cancer returned and is inoperable.
“I will be on chemo until God decides otherwise. There is no pain and the lesions are small. Yes, I morph into the chemo goblin every other week, but each good day I’m gifted is a day full of joy and laughter,” Schiller said.
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Schiller is an ambassador for Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC), the country’s leading advocacy organization focused on colorectal cancer policy and research. She is one of 25 people featured in a new PSA to run in New York City’s Times Square and online throughout March.
Colorectal cancer is the number two cancer killer of men and women in the U.S., second only to lung and bronchial cancer.
Schiller joins advocates nationwide including Kevin Jonas, father of the Jonas Brothers, who is in remission from stage 2 cancer and is a new spokesperson for Fight CRC.
“Even if the scans don’t go as I had hoped, advocating with Fight CRC is still a way I can fight,” said Schiller.
Each year Fight CRC chooses a group of ambassadors to be the face of the disease and represent the one million survivors of colorectal cancer.
“This year’s group showed tremendous strength and positivity in light of everything they’ve gone through and we wanted to channel that to rally other advocates around the country to follow their example and fight with courage,” said Anjee Davis, president of Fight Colorectal Cancer.