Karissa Rund was 14 when she ran from the shooters at Columbine High School.
Now 33, she's running from stage IV colon cancer, a race she's been trying to win for two years.
“I was diagnosed in November of 2015,” Rund said. “It was very sudden.”
“It's very unusual for a 31-year-old to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer,” said one of Rund's doctors, Dr. Wells Massersmith, a Gastrointestinal Oncologist at UCHealth. “For the most part, this is a disease of elderly patients.”
He said there is no perfect, non-invasive affordable screening test that can help identify colon cancer in young people.
“I think that's really a key message is even if you're young, if you have things like weight loss, rectal bleeding a change in your bowel habits that's not explained or something just isn't right take that seriously,” he said. “And even if the first provider you see says, 'Oh don't worry about it, it's just hemorrhoids or something' and it keeps happening, you need to keep pressing and call them back and go see your doctor again and just tell them you're concerned about this.”