Julia comes from a large and loving Mississippi family who came to her aid when she nearly died at age 49. Julia smoked for more than 20 years and developed colon cancer, which is a danger for all smokers. When her symptoms first started—cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting—she was puzzled and tried to manage them on her own. Then one day, the pain and bloating got much, much worse. A colon exam revealed that her intestines were completely blocked, which can be life threatening.
“I will never forget that day. I was so sick. They found the tumor in my colon and rushed me to the hospital,” said Julia. She had surgery and then months of chemotherapy to treat the cancer. She needed an ostomy bag taped to a hole in her abdomen to collect waste. Julia’s family took care of her and her young son, who was terrified to see his mother so sick.
“The sickness really opened my eyes,” said Julia. “By smoking, I was damaging myself and the people around me. I’m so glad I quit!”