Colon cancer survivor’s journey inspires a new country song

Say it with a song. These words of wisdom have been passed down through the years, and singer Craig Campbell takes them to heart.

Campbell has always loved music. Songs and music have played a huge part in his life. As a child, he sang and played at his local church and at home with friends and family. Campbell learned early in life that singing and song-writing can be great ways to express thoughts and feelings that are hard to say.

At 11 years old, Campbell’s life took a major turn. He was told that his father had colorectal cancer and that the disease was very advanced. His father died within a year at only 36 years of age. Too young to die.

“We missed out on so much life together,” Campbell said. “Now that I’m the age he was when he died, it hits me just how incredibly young he was.”

Campbell knows that colon cancer runs in families. Since his close family member had it, there is a greater chance he will get it too. He wants to do all he can to avoid this cancer. That’s why he visits his doctor and gets checked every year.

“So far, I’ve had two major colon screenings to check for the cancer,” Campbell said. “Both have been clear. My family and I are so thankful.”

“As a dad of two beautiful young girls,” Campbell continued, “I want to be here for them and walk them down the aisle someday.”

Campbell started working to inspire others to get checked for the cancer.

Through this work Campbell met leaders of the patient advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer. The group’s mission is to help people learn more about the disease and how to use their voices to create change. Campbell was asked to become a national spokesperson. He responded with a loud, “yes!”

As a country music star with strong family roots, Campbell hopes to use his voice to help others.

Fight Colorectal Cancer created a campaign called One Million Strong to educate about colon and rectal cancer. The program, supported by funding from Bayer HealthCare, honors the more than one million people living with colorectal cancer in the United States.

Through One Million Strong events, Campbell met Rose Hausmann. She is a late-stage colon cancer survivor who has faced several cancer recurrences. Hausmann is also a fighter. From the time they met, Hausmann’s strength and fighting spirit had a great effect on Campbell. He knew her story had to be told. And he could tell it in a song.

“I wanted Hausmann to be part of this song because she has such a positive outlook about all that she’s gone through,” Campbell said.

Campbell invited Hausmann and her husband Eric to his family’s home in Nashville. The two talked about her life and what changed after she learned she had cancer. They talked about the many turns her life has since taken.

Together, the two found the right words to tell her story. Campbell put those words to music in a song he called “Stronger than That.”

“It’s a song of inspiration,” Campbell said. “We want other people fighting colorectal cancer to know they are stronger than they think. By working together, we can try to make life better for people who will be touched by this disease in the future.”

“Getting together and writing this beautiful song was bigger than I could ever imagine – it’s a dream come true,” said Hausmann. “I know I’m the voice of so many others with colorectal cancer. I want them to know they are strong … one million strong.”

Campbell and Hausmann hope their efforts will lead others to learn more about colon cancer and the risks for the disease, which include:

* Smoking

* Drinking alcohol

* Being overweight

* Eating foods high in fat

* Getting little to no exercise

* Having a family member with colorectal cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 23 million Americans age 50 and older who have not been screened. Reaching them is all part of Fight CRC’s commitment to the national goal of getting 80 percent screened by 2018.

Visit fightCRC.org to learn more and to hear the new song. Join the fight. Take a selfie flexing a “strong arm” and post it publically with the hashtag #StrongArmSelfie. For every strong arm photo posted, Bayer HealthCare will give $ 1 (up to $ 25,000) to the group Fight Colorectal Cancer.

PP-900-US-1528


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