Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada - CCAC

Support Resources > Inspirational Stories  

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC) is proud to present stories of courage from patients and family alike.

John Colacci’s Story

John Colacci’s Story

My name is John Colacci. I am 43 years old, happily married with three children ages 6-11. And I stand before you today as a colorectal cancer patient mortified at the province’s state of health care system as it pertains to accessibility to life saving hospital infused cancer drugs. My cancer journey began 3 years ago, in September of 2004. I went to see my doctor for some observed rectal bleeding. I was reassured it was merely a colonic tear and then proceeded to wait 3 months before receiving the most horrific news of my life: YOU HAVE CANCER AND REQUIRE SURGERY. More

Hêtre dans la lumière

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On March 27th 2007 I had surgery for a 25-centimetre villous adenoma on my colon. I had had symptoms for seven months: continual pressure in my rectum and terrible fatigue. There was no apparent blood in my stool, and no severe constipation.

I saw my family doctor in February. I was very embarrassed to talk to him about my frequent need to go to the bathroom. “There is pressure, but it doesn’t come out,” I told him.

A month later, they operated and saved me!

Now they are following up, and have a colonoscopy every year. In thanks for my new lease on life, my husband and I have decided to work with the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and Hospital Foundations.

Yvon is a painter of portraits and we would like to offer his paintings as donations to the cause.

I would like to tell you the lovely story of the painting that we’ve offered to the Association. In the fall following my surgery and long convalescence, little by little, hope returned to our lives and Yvon created this painting:

At the Côteau des Hêtres in St-André d’Argenteuil, there is a magnificent beech tree. Walking by it, seeing the light and its colours made me feel good. Yvon painted this tree of hope, strength and life.

The painting was still with us until the day we spoke to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. When Madame Grief invited us to the launching of the song “Ensemble” of Georges Thurston (who died of cancer), we understood that this painting was meant for the Colorectal Cancer Association— for all the people who wish to bring light to the lives of those who are suffering in the darkness of the illness. In the name of all those who are working for this cause, we named this painting

Hêtre dans la lumière (Beech in the Light)

We hope to paint again and again for the Association, and we invite you to make a donation. “Together, we will be strong.”

Yvon’s works can be seen at

We would be pleased to correspond with you at

Suzanne St-Jean and Yvon Latreille

A dedication...written with love: by Andy Arnot

Andy ArnotKay Arnot had one main belief in life…that everyone should be treated equally. Whether this was during her award winning teaching career of 40 years, or as an advocate on behalf of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada that belief never changed. And if anything, when she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2003 four months after retiring from the career she loved, that belief was her guiding light.


Sherril McConkey’s Story

Leading a healthy life style and wanting to be pro-active with my health, I proceeded with a routine colonoscopy at age 50 (2007), recommended by my family physician. To my dismay the results were stage 2 rectal cancer. My treatment plan with Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre was aggressive with radiation, chemo and surgery. I new this major speedbump in my life was going to be challenging for myself and family, but was prepared to forge ahead with Dr. Andrew Smith, Dr. Wong and Dr. Ko’s recommendations to beat the cancer! The medical and personal treatment I received by all the staff was absolutely outstanding! From Doctor’s, Nurse’s, Diagnostic Technicians, Lab, Pharmacy, Administration and VOLUNTEERS...everyone treated me as a human being and not just a disease to process. Now the summer of 2009...cancer free, I have launched a new business endeavour. EZEETM strap

I have decided to pay it forward and donate $1.00 from every EZEETM strap I sell to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada.

Neil Crone’s Journal

Neil Crone’s Journal

Neil Crone is an actor and writer and a national spokesperson for the CCAC. A Second City veteran improvisor, host and stand up comic, Neil also loves to write poems and stories for "big and little kids".

Neil has written a journal of his experience with colorectal cancer.

1) Chemo is Like Being Pregnant
2) Chemo Wedding Anniversary
3) Chemo-Shmemo
4) Handing in My ’Man Card’
5) Learning to Say No
6) My Chemo Card
7) My Stay at the Hospital
8) Rectum? Darn Near Killed ’em
9) Recalled to Hockey
10) Report from Cancer Central
11) The Real Story
12) There’s No Place Like Home
13) Tumour Humour
14) The Two Good-Byes
15) Update from Cancer Command
16) When you’re sliding into home (...)
17) Last Chapter!
18) Early Christmas Gift

A Tribute to my Husband, Bob Flemming

By Donna Flemming - Bob Flemming died of colon cancer in April 2002. His loving wife, Donna Flemming has written a tribute, to help spread awareness of colorectal cancer and its symptoms. More

Tom Philip’s Journal

Tom Philip’s Journal

Tom Philip has written a journal entitled "Don’t be a man: Do the right thing", which is an ongoing series about living with cancer from Tom’s perspective.

1) Don’t be a man: do the right (...)
2) Just turn on your left side (...)
3) Make sure you get my good side.
4) Life is what you make of it.
5) Dignity and respect are the (...)
6) Newsflash: patients have rights
7) If you don’t mind, pay attention
8) Pat, I’d like to buy a bowel (...)
9) It’s a new lease on life
10) No need here for the Man from (...)
11) ICU, but who sees me?
12) Each step we take is forever
13) Seek home for rest, for home (...)
14) Rest is a great substitute for (...)
15) An acronym does not equal a (...)
16) A Banana a day helps you see (...)
17) Why me? Some say it’s Lady (...)
18) It’s time for Ottawa to pay the (...)
19) The creative and interesting (...)
20) Closing out the year with thank
21) Don’t feed cancers by being (...)
22) Philosophy 101 - Stress new

Daughter of Family G

One day in 1895, a Michigan seamstress named Pauline Gross confided her worst fears to the doctor who employed her. "I’m healthy now," she said, "but I fully expect to die an early death from cancer. Most of my relatives are sick, and many in my family have already passed on." The doctor decided to investigate. His work was the first step in the discovery - one hundred years later - of a gene mutation that causes colon cancer, known as Family "G". Ami Mackay is a writer in Scott’s Bay, Nova Scotia. The seamstress was her great grandmother’s sister. With a test for the gene mutation now available, Ami Mackay is a woman with some very hard decisions to make. The link below will take you to the CBC program that is part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.

Listen to "Daughter of Family G"

A Journey Down the Pink Corridor

Jim Caruso of Parksville, British Columbia has written a journal chronicling his journey through colorectal cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. More

Wendy’s Battle

Wendy’s Battle

Wendy Mundell is fighting for her life. Read her daily combat in her blog.

We regret to inform you that Wendy Mundell passed away on October 31st 2008.


Help Suzanne

Help Suzanne

Suzanne Aucoin created a website to enable her to reach her goal of attaining effective and appropriate treatments for her colon cancer. More

Don Spencer’s Artifacts

Don Spencer’s Artifacts

I am an IT Manager with plenty of application development experience. I am married and the father of two teenage boys. I have lived in Barrie, Peterborough, Toronto, Waterloo, and Kitchener - all in Ontario, Canada. I love to read, write, engage in stimulating conversations, play the fingerstyle guitar, watch good movies, enjoy NBA, college and high school basketball games, work out at the gym, and occasionally take a photograph or two. My life has recently been complicated by a diagnosis of rectal cancer. More

Adam Beldycki’s Blog

Adam Beldycki’s Blog

Through the blog, my goal is to provide frequently updated information about myself and more specifically my battle with colon cancer. More

Gaye Stanley’s Poems

Gaye Stanley’s Poems

1) The Last Dance
2) Race For Life
3) The Face of Cancer
4) Cancer Came Knocking