GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A Gautier resident will be one of the twenty-five people nationwide featured in a new PSA in March, for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Linda Dawe was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age fifty-two and has become an ambassador for one of the leading advocacy groups in the county.
At fifty-three, Linda Dawe is a busy mother of three college students and currently volunteers at Gautier High School's guidance department. Linda knew when she turned fifty that it was time for her first colonoscopy- a screening test for colorectal cancer. But like so many people, she put it off.
"I put myself on the back burner and put them ahead of me," she said.
Two years later she finally made time for her first colonoscopy at age fifty-two. The results were devastating.
"I didn't know that when I woke up from a routine colonoscopy they would come in and say I had a tumor, and they were pretty sure it was cancer."
Since that diagnosis, her life has been turned upside down, with multiple surgeries and chemotherapy treatments. Now, she's sharing her message with others, hoping they will learn from her story.
"My favorite thing is when a friend or someone comes to me and says I got my colonoscopy because you shared your story," the mother shared.
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cancer-causing deaths in the U.S. of men and women combined. And because of her experience and courage in fighting the disease, Linda was selected to participate as an ambassador in the Fight Colorectal Cancer organization's One Million Strong campaign. Her PSA will be one of twenty-five rotating in Times Square during the month of March. She was glad to be a part of the campaign.
"Pretty humbled that the world, or people in New York City, so many people see that; will hear my story and also twenty-four other stories of how we fought with courage."
The campaign starts February 28th, and Linda saw the PSA for the first time during our visit.
When asked what she thought after seeing it, she replied, "I think I need a tissue."
While she continues to share her message of hope, Linda's battle continues. But she's staying positive.
"My future is bright. Pretty sure I'm going to see grandchildren. I'm cancer free. That's the way I look at it every single day."
You can help Linda in her One Million Strong Awareness and Research campaign by taking a strong arm selfie and posting it on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook using the tags and hashtags #StrongArm Selfie, @FightCRC, @Lin-dawe.