In January 2013, Robert Ventura set up an appointment with his doctor because of his inguinal hernia. His primary care physician referred him to a surgeon but first asked him when was the last time he received a colonoscopy. He had never gotten one. He was 60 years old at the time. An appointment was scheduled for him to receive a colonoscopy prior to any surgery and when the results came back, Robert’s life was changed forever.
“The doctor said to me, you have colon cancer. It hit me like a hammer. My world was spinning and I did not think it would happen to me. I had a first stage polyp that was blocking three-fourths of my colon.”
In February 2013, Robert had colon surgery and stents were placed in his bladder where some other cancerous cells were discovered during the surgery. Thankfully ever since, Robert has been cancer-free. He attributes his positive attitude throughout his whole cancer experience as his saving grace.
Now, a cancer survivor, Robert makes his health more of a priority by getting his regular doctor check-ups in addition to his follow-ups post-cancer. His experience has also made his family more mindful of the importance of getting screened. Several of his relatives have passed away from cancer realizing their diagnosis too late. Robert only learned about his family history after his own cancer diagnosis.
As a local business owner, Robert makes it his mission to spread awareness about getting screened and he encourages his customers to talk to their family members about their health history and the importance of early detection and screening.
Last year, Robert heard about CASUAL Day and purchased a CASUAL Day t-shirt. This led him to meet another CASUAL Day volunteer since he wore the shirt at his restaurant and through that connection he became our spokesperson.