Colorectal cancer prepares athlete for “The Amazing Race”

Kurt Gibson knows life is an amazing race. During his last semester of college, the 22-year-old ultimate Frisbee player began to notice that he was more fatigued than usual and had blood in his stool. “I was in peak physical shape, so I just figured this was the result of my active lifestyle,” says Kurt, who decided to ignore what would turn out to be colorectal cancer symptoms. When the fatigue and blood didn’t go away, Kurt saw a doctor on campus. The doctor said there was nothing to worry about and to come back if the symptoms continued. A colorectal cancer diagnosis A few months later, Kurt graduated and moved to Dallas for a new job. His symptoms persisted, so he found a new doctor and underwent a flexible sigmoidoscopy. It didn’t show anything, so the doctor recommended a colonoscopy. It revealed a polyp that was too large to be removed. A biopsy was taken, two days later Kurt got a call from his doctor. The polyp had cancer cells. He had stage III colorectal cancer. “What is going on? Is this real?” he recalls thinking. Kurt tried to call his mom … no answer. He tried to call his dad … no answer. He called his girlfriend at the time … no answer. “All I could think was ’Is this really happening, and what do I do now?’” he says. “What do I do next?” Kurt had total colectomy surgery where 90% of his colon was removed. Afterwards, he spent six weeks recovering before starting chemotherapy. He tried to go back to his life and be “a...