Pat and Joan Kerns lost their beautiful, beloved daughter Judy to colon cancer 12 years ago. Since then, they’ve turned their loss into action and share their story with anyone who will listen. With March being National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, they hope you’ll take a moment to learn more about Judy and why her legacy is so important.
Judy was just 42 when she lost her battle with colon cancer. She had an adoring husband and three beautiful young children; she was way too young. But the Kerns now know that colon cancer is prevalent with others in their family. Pat and Joan often wonder, if they knew then what they know now, would Judy still be here? They’ll never have an answer for that question, but they do know that educating others could prevent more families from having to endure such a tragic loss.
That’s why they started the Judy Kerns Pence Cancer Fund for Colorectal Cancer Awareness, to raise awareness about early detection and colonoscopies. They’ve provided newly diagnosed patients with a resource book that covers all aspects of colorectal cancer- from diagnosis to recovery. They’ve supported the purchase of database software specifically designed for genetics clinics, and they’ve recorded public service announcements that have aired on both television and radio.
“We got a call at our business by a woman who said her daughter had been told by her doctor she didn’t need a colonoscopy,” Pat says. “But then her daughter heard one of our radio PSA’s encouraging people to get checked. So her daughter got a second opinion, she had that colonoscopy and sure enough, it revealed several polyps. Those polyps, over time, can develop into cancer.”
Joan says it’s a call they’ll never forget, “The mother had called our business to say, ‘Thank you for saving my daughter’s life.’” That’s why the Kerns’ continue to fight and raise awareness, but they can’t do it without your help.
To make a gift to the Judy Kerns Pence Cancer Fund for Colorectal Cancer Awareness, go to give.aurora.org/kerns . To learn more about the importance of early detection and treatments available, CLICK HERE.