Time to fight against colon cancer.

My name is Kerry Roeder and reside in Dyersville. I am originally from England and was placed in Sherrill, Iowa to work at Camp Albrecht Acres for the summer of 2006.
Whilst i was away, and without my knowledge, my mum was diagnosed with colon cancer, which had already spread to the liver. I was enjoying every minute of my experience and even fell in love. I didn't find out until she i came home in September 2006. She was my best friend, and didn't want to ruin my experience with the bad news. So in September i got a shock. She was doing chemo at home and trial drugs in the hospital. It wasn't long before things got worse. She became very sick.

My boyfriend at the time whom i met while working at camp ( originally from Guttenberg) flew over to England to be with me. She had surgery and never recovered fully. She seemed to not understand us, and was sleeping more and more. On March 26th 2007 ( just 9 months after finding out) she passed away. It was a short but aggressive battle. My mum was everything to me and my life was crushed. My dad told me to come back to America, to work at camp again. And i did. Me and my boyfriend were engaged by now and most people thought we were crazy. Now we have two children, ages 4 and 3. Nothing in this world makes me happier than to be a mother and wife. Something my mum always said.

So now I am settled living in America, with handsome, smart children, and a loving husband... something is always missing; my mum. So heres where i turn to you. It is colorectal cancer awareness month. We dont hear a lot about colon cancer because who wants to talk about bowel movements and colonoscopies right? But it needs to be done. Early detection is vital.

Your readers might be surprised and saddened to learn recently that Iowa is once again failing in the battle against colon cancer – while other states are fighting and winning against this highly preventable disease through progressive legislation. Colon cancer is estimated to have killed almost 50,000 people last year in the U.S. Half of those are women.

What many people don’t realize is that this second-leading cancer killer is highly preventable--and 90 percent treatable when detected early with appropriate screening.

An American Cancer Society study showed that states with laws requiring insurers to cover the cost of colorectal cancer screening according to proper medical guidelines have a tremendous, positive impact in colon cancer screening rates. In fact, screening rates in states with the most comprehensive coverage laws rose 40 percent faster between 1999 and 2004 than the rates in states without such laws on the books.

Currently, only 32 states (including the District of Columbia) have passed legislation to require sufficient insurance coverage of colorectal cancer screening. Unfortunately, Iowa is not one of them.

While the Affordable Care Act will help make colon cancer screenings available to many, especially those between 50 and 75 years old, it does not cover everyone who can benefit from colorectal cancer screenings, especially those with a family history. If our state legislators don’t do anything to close those gaps, more lives will be lost and all of us will see higher healthcare costs.

Thirteen leading authorities on colon cancer prevention have joined forces to bring attention to this issue and encourage all states to adopt legislation that guarantees insurance providers cover the cost for preventative screening for colon cancer. In the past year, not one single state was added to the “A-list” of states with comprehensive colon cancer screening legislation.

There is no good reason that Iowa should be on the list of 19 states with failing grades (F) for not requiring insurance providers to offer coverage for colon cancer screenings. Similar laws already exist for breast and other cancers. Please encourage your readers to join this crucial fight for life and to help ensure an ‘A’ for Iowa on next year’s report card by contacting their state legislators and demanding that this issue be addressed.

Tools and information – including specifics regarding Iowa legislation, legislator contact information and sample letters – can be found at www.nccra.org. Thank you for your attention, and your support, I hope you feel this cause is worth while. Lets make a change and save a life.

Dyersville commercial had printed this letter, with your help i can reach thousands more in Dubuque. http://m.dyersvillecommercial.com/mobile/opinion/guest_opinion/take-note-march-is-colorectal-cancer-awareness-month/article_0afdd492-916b-11e2-af27-001a4bcf6878.html

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