KILLEEN, TX — About a dozen and so people gathered at Lions Club Park in Killeen, dressed in royal blue ready to brave the windy Saturday morning to walk about two miles to bring awareness to colon cancer.
The event was organized and advertised by one person, Jewel Lott, a mother of three, Fort Hood soldier, colon cancer survivor and just like her face mask read: a boss.
Lott said she found the importance in holding the walk after being diagnosed with stage two colon cancer in July of 2019.
“We seem to think that we're invincible, or we're bosses or, you know, super soldiers,” she explained. “And so I've never thought that I would be that sick, that was the sickest I’ve like ever been.”
Lott, now in remission and visiting her doctors every three months, said the rigorous rounds of chemotherapy had a lasting effect on her body.
It left her with diabetes, weight loss and lumps on some of her organs.
“I have masses that pop up, like I have one on my liver, I have one on my lungs and on my airways,” she said while thinking about her previous doctors appointments. “I'm taking steroids for that which is causing me to be insulin dependent.”
Now, every March on colon cancer awareness month, she hammers yard signs along the sidewalks in Lions Club Park with facts about the disease, hoping that when people are walking, or running along the trail they’ll learn something new about that specific type of cancer.
Saturday, many came to support her, including some who have lost the battle with the disease.
“My father passed away from colon cancer in 2017,” Kim Lewis, a supporter said. “So just hang on to your loved ones, tell them that you love them every day, because tomorrow is not promised to them.”
Lewis and Lott have more things in common than just the first letter of the last names and colon cancer connections.
They’re battle buddies, both stationed here in Killeen on Fort Hood.
That is why Lewis explained that when Lott began having symptoms, knowing what her dad experienced, she urged her friend to get checked out. From there, supporting her through her cancer journey was a given, Lewis said.
“I knew I was in the fight with her,” Lewis said, smiling. “And whatever she did for support or needed for support, I knew that I was going to be there for her, especially because she's away from her family”
They both explained how they’ll continue to spread awareness, because if one person can learn something and tell someone else, then that’s one more life that could potentially be saved.
“If you bring awareness, people will talk to their physicians and try to get treated or at least get checked, earlier,” Lott said.
She also created the Transformation Project Facebook group to spread awareness year round but said she’ll do an annual walk for as long as she can.
For more in-depth research about the disease and symptoms to look out for, here’s a good resource to utilize.