Fight Colorectal Cancer's March NYC Trip

I would like to raise $3000 to attend Fight Colorectal Cancer's One Million Strong campaign in New York City on March 3, 2014 in memory of my beautiful mother. I am a 24 year old full time Dean's List oncology nursing student, working retail, and putting every focus on my grades leaving little money left over.

I appreciate greatly any donations that are given - for they will be used wisely and all leftover money will be donated to Fight CRC in my mother's name.

(I have put my story below about my mother, why this trip means everything to me, and where the money will be distributed.)

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My gratitude for you is beyond any elegant diction. Thank you.

This was the last photo I have with my mother Andrea Bates, Christmas of 2012.

Mom was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer in February 2007 at the age of 48 and given only a few months to live. I was still in high school at the time and only 17 years old. As you can see, she fought for six long years enduring endless rounds of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, experimental procedures, and countless worrisome hospital stays. She was a non-smoker, and ate very well in moderation. Throughout all of her struggles, her head was always held high, her faith was relentless, and the family never saw her in low spirits. Her questions were never "Why is this happening to me?" but rather "What can we do next?".

She was a fighter.

During her time battling cancer, she went back to college and earned her college degree from Anderson University and graduated with honors. She had short times of remission, one of which when she graduated. Adorned on her cap was, "A degree and cancer free!" which she wore proudly. She was the most brilliant and hardworking woman I have ever known.

Mom developed stage III uterine cancer completely separate from her stage IV colorectal cancer at the beginning of 2013. Unfortunately when she asked "What can we do next?" the answer was "To make you as comfortable as possible".

Mom passed away peacefully at home with the whole family telling her how much we loved her on February 26th, 2013, just a little over a month after her 54th birthday.

My mother was the most amazing woman I have ever met. She
gave the best advice, hugs, and called me everyday. I used to bring her flowers every time I visited home to match the season since she couldn't go outside, so I brought in the most beautiful parts for her. She always encouraged me to do anything and everything I dreamed of doing. She let me express myself anyway I wanted to and encouraged me to be myself no matter what - including my pink mohawk in high school! But the best thing about my mother was her heart, her laugh, her honesty, her attitude, and how in love she was with my father, her husband of almost 25 years. She always wanted to bring hope to other cancer patients by telling her story to give them hope even while being faced with her own mortality daily.

My mother inspired everyone around her - but she inspired me to want to become an oncology nurse. I am currently a returning student at IUPUI patiently awaiting to apply to nursing school and am currently on the Dean's List. I want to help people like my mother and to carry on her legacy and beauty. I want cancer patience to know there is hope when it seems like little is available. Not only do I want to help those in the United States, I plan on taking nursing worldwide and helping those in third world countries.

During the last two weeks she was in hospice, mom told me I was "...the best nurse I've ever had". This is where my passion was ignited and I had found my calling.

This explains my predicament! I am basically a starving college student, working retail twice a week, and focusing on my high GPA at IUPUI. It is on my bucket list to attend Fight Colorectal Cancer's One Million Strong campaign in New York City on March 3rd, 2014 in memory of my beautiful mother.

I want to forever continue advocacy for colorectal cancer research and preventative care so that millions of people prevent this terrible disease.

Any little bit helps and I understand everyone is on a major budget! I appreciate anything and everything there is to give. Here is a breakdown of how I plan on spending the money earned:

- 2 plane tickets (I can't be alone in NYC!)
- Hotel fare
- Food and transportation
- All leftover money will be donated to Fight CRC in mom's name

Thank you all so much. In the mean time, I will be making more colorectal cancer ribbons and other fundraisers to make this dream come true!
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Megan Bates 
Indianapolis, IN
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