Meet Carissa

My journey started about 18 months before my cancer diagnosis when my doctor thought I had hemorrhoids. It’s easy to misdiagnose colon cancer when you are young and healthy because it’s so rare.

However, my husband had a bad feeling about my hemorrhoids. He urged me to have surgery before we got pregnant. As a result, I went in for a colonoscopy and hemorrhoid surgery. But instead of hemorrhoids, they found a tumor. Shortly after, my doctors aggressively tackled the disease with three rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments.

Undoubtedly, my husband was a rock star! He went from being deployed in the desert to being my caregiver and taking care of two toddlers without missing a beat.

“I don’t know who donated the money for the research that discovered the best way to treat my cancer. I don’t know who tirelessly researched to find the best way to treat my cancer. But, I know they saved my life.”

Thanks to research, I had a rare surgery to preserve my fertility. After treatment, the surgery was reversed, and our youngest child was born just five years later! Damage to my body from cancer treatment resulted in pregnancy complications and a severely premature birth, but he’s very healthy now and such a miracle!

Thankfully, what could have been a death sentence a couple of decades ago was a bump in the road. My cancer has been in remission for seven years, and I am now a busy mom of three children. I hope more people faced with cancer can experience it as I have – just a simple stepping stone on the way to an amazing life.

–Carissa Abrams, V Foundation supporter