Erin Wood, an IT analyst for Duke, was diagnosed nine years ago with stage 4 colon cancer. She was just 42 years old. Despite lifesaving treatment, Wood’s cancer has returned twice. Buoyant and resilient, Wood refuses to let cancer get the best of her. She does her part to support research by raising funds for the annual CRUSH 5K event.
“It means so much to me to see other people get involved in the fight against colon cancer,” said Wood, whose team, Tush Tush, does its part to help bolster funds. “More research will mean longer lives and hopefully, a cure."
According to the American Cancer Society, excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in Americans. This year there will be almost 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancers.
“Duke knows something about building great teams,” said Herbert Hurwitz, MD, Wood's medical oncologist. “We employ a multidisciplinary, or team, approach to care. Collaboration across disciplines ensures our patients receive exceptional care. Breakthrough science is critical to success. And that’s where patients and loved ones come into play. When they partner to help move science forward, they, too, become part of this winning team.
Today Wood’s cancer is under control and barely detectable. Celebrating survivorship, she’s doing all she can to raise both awareness and funds.
“Getting involved is empowering,” she said. “I’m not only helping myself; I’m also helping the tens of thousands of others who are and will battle this disease.”