Mount Juliet, Tenn. (TN Tribune) — Mount Juliet resident Yvette Davis-Atkins will be one of 12 people featured in a new awareness campaign launching on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for March—Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Davis-Atkins was a caregiver to her late husband, and today she’s an advocate with the national advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer. The “Fight for More” campaign featuring Davis-Atkins emphasizes what the colorectal cancer (CRC) community needs “more” of, especially from lawmakers.

Davis-Atkins’s photo and story will appear on outdoor digital boards next to the first-ever colorectal cancer installation in D.C. featuring over 27,000 blue flags representing the expected cases of colorectal cancer in people under age 50 if something doesn’t change.

Davis-Atkins lost her husband to colorectal cancer when he was just 48 years old. He passed away only one year after his diagnosis in 2012. Their son was only 11 years old. She was selected to become an Ambassador for Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) to put a face to the disease and showcase why the status quo is not OK—we must do more to save lives. In addition to her photo appearing in the National Mall March 13-18, 2022, her story has been featured on Fight CRC’s Facebook page.

“One day, life can seem ideal and the next day, it can turn tragic,” Davis-Atkins said. “I want people to know their family history and be knowledgeable about colon cancer screening. It is my wish for colon cancer to be as readily acknowledged as breast cancer.”

Although it’s a preventable cancer with timely screening, and a cancer that’s very treatable and beatable if caught early, colorectal cancer is currently the No. 2 cancer killer. Young cases are also on the rise, and it’s estimated that colorectal cancer will be the leading cause of cancer deaths among those ages 20-49 in the next eight years if something doesn’t change. Davis-Atkins has dedicated a year of volunteer time to Fight CRC to use her story to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms, educate people about screening options, push policymakers to allocate more funds to research, and support Fight CRC’s research plan, Path to a Cure.

 “This year we’re heading to the National Mall to get attention for colorectal cancer and ask our lawmakers to champion, support and prioritize colorectal cancer,” said Anjee Davis, president of Fight CRC. “Our Ambassador stories will put a face to the issues at hand and showcase why we need urgent action—now.”