Ashley Hallum, 27, centre, was diagnosed with Stage 3D colorectal cancer and wants to bring awareness about the disease. (Contributed)

Pitt Meadows mother wants more awareness around colorectal cancer

The 27-year-old was diagnosed with the disease last July

Ashley Hallum was only 27-years-old when she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

What started off as a slow back pain became excruciating and debilitating for the Pitt Meadows mother of three.

After one year of seeing various doctors and a 50 pound drop in weight, she finally walked into Ridge Meadows Hospital and told the doctor there that she didn’t want pain pills, she just wanted answers.

The doctor listened to everything Hallum had to say and then sent her for an ultrasound of her ovaries.

“And that’s when we found the mass in my colon,” said Hallum.

Since her diagnosis of Stage 3B colorectal cancer last July, Hallum has had 28 rounds of radiation in conjunction with chemotherapy plus an additional six rounds of chemotherapy.

Soon she will be having part of her colon removed and she will have to have an ostomy bag, hopefully only temporarily, although Hallum said, it is very possible that it will be permanent.

This is why Hallum wants to bring awareness of the disease and the importance of advocating for yourself.

Usually, Hallum said, people in her age aren’t diagnosed until they are Stage 4 and that’s only because it’s been found in their liver or kidneys or their lungs.

She would like doctors to be aware that age doesn’t matter when it comes to this type of cancer.

“People that have any type of symptoms should be looked at right away because I told my doctor about blood in my stool and all kinds of things over and over again and I was just dismissed over and over,” said Hallum.

“It would have been Stage 1 when I first went because I did not shy away and say, oh no, I am not going to talk to my doctor about this,” she continued.

As Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end Hallum also wants to see less stigma around the disease.

A GoFundMe page has been set up with a goal of $8,000 to go directly to the family.

So far $5,030 has been raised.

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