Let’s Talk About Poop: Caring for Your Colon

Fight Colorectal Cancer is the loudest national nonprofit advocating for researching and awareness of colorectal cancers. It's spreading its message of the fight from its new national headquarters: Springfield.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

There are a lot of things Kristina Smith would like to tell her husband, Joe.

She’d tell him about the chocolate cookie that smudged on their son Porter’s 4-year-old face. She’d tell him about the students she serves as a special education teacher in Hollister. And she’d be sure to tell him happy anniversary every year.

“We were best friends,” she says. “But I wish that we had talked about his bathroom habits or the blood in his stool before he was diagnosed. He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at 36, when I was seven months pregnant. He died when Porter was 14 months old.”

Kristina, Joe and Porter are three of the millions impacted by colorectal cancers. Colon cancer is the No. 2 cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. and is 90 percent preventable. Kristina, now 28, rattles off the statistics, data and research of colon cancer treatments in the U.S. in rapid-fire. She lived the fight, but in her loss, she’s joined a national family of fighters. She now serves as an ambassador and advocate for the national colorectal advocacy nonprofit Fight Colorectal Cancer (CRC).

“I went to Washington, D.C., and sat across from senators and representatives to share my story,” she says. “People think that colon cancer is an old man’s disease. It’s not a girl who looks like me with a baby boy. But Fight CRC gave me the chance to be a part of the advocacy and research that is leading the fight against this mostly preventable cancer.”

Since 2005, Fight CRC has been making noise about poop. The nonprofit campaigns and lobbies for increased funding for treatments of colorectal cancers, as well as breaking the silence and stigma about potential warning signs of colorectal cancers.

“It’s hard to talk about poop,” Kristina says. “But we’re out there shouting, ‘Love your booty,’ to increase awareness and to break down that taboo-ty—pun intended.”

Until 2016, Fight CRC was headquartered in Washington, D.C. But to make its donated dollars go further, it relocated to Springfield to reduce its overhead costs while also being centrally located nationally to serve more fighters and their families struggling with the disease.

“I didn’t learn about Fight CRC until after we had lost our fight, but being a part of this family has brought so much healing,” Kristina says. “To know you’re not alone, that there’s a new treatment or there’s hope? That makes all the difference.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More Articles Like This

50 Things Every 417-Lander Must Do

When do you know you’ve become fully initiated into your home? You can start by trying all the foods that are unique to the area. You can check the best sites off your bucket list. You can immerse yourself in the outdoors. And, let’s be honest, that can take years! This feature is your shortcut—a list of 50 things that every 417-lander should know, do or eat to be really and truly local.

Beneath the Surface: Controversy on the Buffalo National River

Since C&H Hog Farms opened its 2,500-sow operation in the Buffalo National River watershed in 2013, concerns involving the river’s safety and quality have been on the rise. We headed south to investigate the farm’s practices, learn about the potential threats to the watershed and examine the heart-felt passion of the many people involved.

Plan a Trip to the Emerald Isle or Hear Irish Tunes Locally

417 Magazine owner Joan Whitaker's maiden name is Sullivan so it’s only fitting that visiting Ireland was high on her bucket list. Here are her tips for planning a trip to the Emerald Isle and for enjoying Irish music locally if a trip isn’t for you.
Edit Module
Edit Module
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Sign up for our newsletters Follow us on Instagram

Edit ModuleShow Tags

  1. Why Pickleball is the New “It” Sport
    The number of places to play pickleball has doubled since 2010. Digital Director Dayle Duggins...
  2. Fall Festivals: 25 Way to Celebrate Fall Fun in 417-land
    We’ve rounded up the most delightful, most bizarre and most timeless fests around to add to...
  3. Republic’s Scuffed Edge Flea Market
    At Scuffed Edge in Republic, one creative maven shares her passion for refurbishing home decor.
  4. Goat Yoga is Your New Favorite Workout
    Our managing editor got bendy with some goats, and somehow among their bleats and bucks, her...
  5. Inside Innovative Dental’s Spa-Like Space
    Innovative Dental’s remodeled office in Southeast Springfield goes beyond the usual sterile...
Edit Module
Edit Module