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Every patient has a story.

The "I'm Not Average" campaign features fellow Americans whose lives have been impacted by treatments and cures for debilitating, chronic, or rare diseases.

< View All Stories


I'm Not Average: Kris T.

Condition:
Familial Adenomatous Polyposis/Stage III colorectal cancer survivor


Age:
38


Location:
Bethesda, MD


In 1996, when most of my friends were trying to survive their first year of college, I was just trying to survive.


Because of my family history, I went in for my first colonoscopy at age 18. What was supposed to be a routine screening turned into a nightmare. My doctors found that my colon was full of polyps and was unsalvageable. In the coming months, I had my colon removed and I received a temporary ileostomy, which basically means that my small intestine was temporarily brought through an opening in my lower abdomen, requiring that I use an ileostomy bag. During that surgery, my doctors found a tumor and diagnosed me with Stage III colorectal cancer.

After many years of surgeries, suffering, and recovery, I finally decided to have a permanent ileostomy, which has made a huge difference in my life. I could be the ostomy poster child. I want people to be confident in themselves and with their ostomy, which is my motivation for speaking out and staying active.

I’ve made it through the last 20 years of complications, surgeries, and recoveries through my support system – God, family, and unconditional love from my friends. I know that cancer doesn’t end when treatments are over, but there is life after cancer. Cancer did a number on my body, but through it all, I’m still here. It’s not our afflictions that define us, but how we choose to deal with them.

Condition:
Familial Adenomatous Polyposis/Stage III colorectal cancer survivor


Age:
38


Location:
Bethesda, MD

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Make your voice heard. Join the important discussion on the value and economic impact of new medicines.


connect with PhRMA...

Make your voice heard. Join the important discussion on the value and economic impact of new medicines.


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