I CAN raise awareness of Esophageal Cancer

My story, why I do what I do..

my family with my dad shortly before he died
I am a part of ACS CAN because there is a silent killer that's attacking too many of our citizens at this very moment. It's a disease that's caused tremendous pain to my family. On December 18th, 2008, My Father was diagnosed with Stage 3b Esophageal Cancer. In January 2009 my dad had a feeding tube inserted then he went through Radiation, chemotherapy and in March 2009 had surgery to remove his esophagus and many lymph nodes. In March of 2010, my dad was told his cancer came back, It had metasticized to his bones, his lungs, his liver, and he was now terminally ill. My dad, Michael James Rockwood, passed away July 25, 2010 at the age of 62,  in                                                                       his home with the ones who loved him holding his hands.
When I was a little girl my dad told me I could do ANYTHING I wanted, and that all it takes is one moment to be great, and that greatness wil live in the hearts of many. My dad chose to enroll in a clinical trial when he recieved his terminal diagnosis. He gave the gift of his body to recearching new treatments, eventhough they werent going to help him. My dad was an amazing man, who was loved by so many. I believed my dad when he told me that there were great things inside of me waiting to come out, i am just so sad that he is not here to see how his moment of greatness was realized in me.
My dad and I

What I did about it, and how it can save lives
On March 11th, 2011, I contacted Governer Kitzhaber to make him aware of my story and share dome facts about Esophageal Cancer, and also to help me continue what my dad started when he enrolled in that clinical trial. To help me raise awareness of the FASTEST growing cancer diagnosis in the United States, with a 400% increase in the last 20 years. Or the fact that Esophageal Cancer has one of the worst survival rates of any cancer more than 80 percent who are diagnosed will lose their battle with this devastating disease. And a big part of the reason for these dismal statistics is the lack of awareness about Esophageal Cancer. Yet, when it's detected early, new procedures have been shown to have a 98 percent cure rate. That makes awareness so important!

On Monday March 14th, 2011, Governer Kitzhaber signed a proclimation making the month of April Esophageal Cancer Awareness month. If I can raise awareness of signs and symptoms before it gets to that point, eventually, even if one life is saved, it's always worth it, it's worth all the energy and time and effort. This is my opportunity to make a mark, to have my dad live on. Please help me spread this amazing news to everyone, please help me in my fight to save lives.

Just some facts
Esophageal Cancer is 3 - 4 times more common in men than women
The incidence of Esophageal Cancer increases with age - about eight out of ten people diagnosed are between ages 55 and 85
The American Cancer Society estimated that during 2008, 16,470 new cases of Esophageal Cancer cases would be diagnosed in the United States and 14,280 deaths from esophageal cancer would occur - more deaths than those expected to be caused by melanoma
Most people with Esophageal Cancer will eventually die of this disease because Esophageal Cancer is usually diagnosed at a late stage
Survival rates are improving: 45 years ago, only 4% of all white patients and 1% of all African-American patients survived at least 5 years after diagnosis versus 18% of white patients and 11% of African-American patients who now survive at least 5 years after diagnosis
Making Cancer Issues a National Priority
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is leading the way in making cancer issues a national priority.  From making cities and states smoke-free to ensuring that all women have access to mammograms, ACS CAN is building the grassroots movement that will help eradicate this terrible disease. 
ACS CAN is a grassroots membership organization that will give cancer advocates the opportunity to shape legislators' and candidates’ agendas to ensure that they include important cancer-related issues and to hold our officials publicly accountable for the votes they take on cancer-related legislation