Our team is participating in the 2017 Get Your Rear In Gear 5K Run/Walk, an event to benefit the Colon Cancer Coalition. We want to make a difference for the thousands of people in our community touched by colon cancer. The funds we raise will stay right here, helping with prevention, early detection and treatment for this disease. Early detection with Colon Cancer is SO important! At 33 I just had my first Colonoscopy and I was suprised how easy it was. I'll take the prep and procedure anytime over the constant worry that I may also get it at a young age. I have too much to live for as do most of us!
We are doing this run in memory of my Mom, Terrea Simmons. She was lost to this "crappy" cancer on April 1st 2002.
My Mom, Terrea was a woman of many talents. She was gifted seamstress, a great sports coach, a natural leader and the perfect Mom. She never failed to make everyone feel important. She made time for everyone. We had the house that all our friends wanted to spend time at. I think thanks to my Mom who made our Friends part of our family. Many of them are still very close to us. When you were friends with a Simmons kid you were a friend of our family, same with our parents if you were a friend of theirs than you were part of our family. My Mom was always there to support our friends as well as us. She was a giver; she gave confidence, advice and unconditional love to many. She encouraged us to do the right thing even if it was the harder choice although she never stopped loving us or believing in us if we strayed and went the "easy" way. She had a few mottos one that I learned early on in my life was that " lack of prior planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part" That taught us a lot about responsibility and consequences. She gave selflessly to volunteer organizations. She taught people with disabilities to ski through and organization Ski-for-All. Many winters growing up she showed us compassion by her love of people that are different than us, the lessons we learned from the students and instructors at Ski-for-all are priceless. She was also very involved with Scare Productions a local Haunting nonprofit that benefited the youth in Des Moines. She was the President for many years (I actually can't remember how long it was basically my whole childhood). Scare was home for local teens that loved theater and that wanted to be accepted for who they really were not whom society wanted them to be. My mom welcomed them all with open arms. Encouraged them to stand up for themselves, to better themselves, to take pride in themselves and to love unconditionally. She was an inspiration until she passed and now her legacy is an inspiration to a new group of youth and also to those same youth that are now raising their own families and trying to make a difference. She was unlike anyone I have ever met. I don't know anyone that could say a bad word about her. I along with many others try and use her as a guide of the person we want to be. I know I can't touch her in all her wonder but if I were half as amazing as her I would feel that I have done her proud.
I was almost 15 when my mom was first diagnosed she was 39. My parents were always honest with us. From the start it was an uphill battle. They told her that it had been growing inside her for at least two years. (This is why getting checked is so important. The sooner it is caught the more chance you have of survival) Then she started the process to cure it. It took 3 surgeries countless radiation and many rounds of Chemo. Then right after her 41st birthday she was in remission. It was a great summer. The joy and remission was temporary in the fall of 2001 she was diagnosed again. It was no longer gone. It had come back and it was back with a vengeance. Shortly after this she started a new kind of Chemo that was short lived it made her so sick and it wasn't stopping the cancer. It was colon cancer but it was slowly taking over her insides. Right around Christmas she decided she wasn't going to continue with treatment. My mom the bravest woman in the world had given her faith to God. I watched her go from being full of joy and inspiration to hopelessness and sorrow though never sorrow for herself just the people she was affecting. She wanted to be here for our graduations, weddings, and grandchildren and to die of old age with my Dad. Not this. Not to leave while she had a son just starting High school, a Daughter graduating in a few months and another Daughter who had just graduated and was finding her place in the world. For some reason we may never understand God needed her more than we did. It was a hard to watch all these loved ones, friends, family, neighbor hood kids, the kids she coached, the kids she supported the people whose lives she had made a difference in come through our house to say good bye. She left us on April Fools day 2002. I'm sure she thought that was a great idea. She wanted a celebration of life not a funeral, so through the help of much of our family and friends that was what it was. We rented a hall it wasn't big enough, people stood in the rainy stormy spring night to celebrate her. It was hard to see all the lives she would no longer touch. Then in the middle of the eulogy that she wrote herself right when the tears started to flow the lights went out. The transformer had blown? Very suspicious. That was my Mom she said celebrate what could we do but laugh it was her. She is only gone in human form but her soul that touched so many lives in many of us to this day. She loved with her whole heart all the time and I want to help find a cure and help all that have been affected by this cancer.
I am not a writer or one that tends to share a very private story about me but I hope that it will help people to understand why I make this run a priority why I support this organization. Please support our efforts to build hope and beat colon cancer! Thank you in advance for your help.