It’s not recommended to get screened for colon cancer until after the age of 50. However, a recent study shows that people under the age of 50 are being diagnosed. Take 13-year-old Jeffery Jackson from Queensbury, for example.

For months, Jeffrey suffered from severe stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting. After a while he gave up eating and drinking because he was vomiting violently at least 30 times a day. A once-healthy teenage boy, Jeffrey lost over 50 pounds in a matter of months, yet no doctor seemed to know what was wrong.

Finally, Jeffrey was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer--a disease that is diagnosed in those under 20 only 0.1% of the time. After getting his colon and appendix removed, and 22 weeks of intensive chemotherapy, it looks like the treatment is doing its job. However, while Jeffrey is feeling much better, the journey isn’t quite over yet.

And Jeffrey’s isn’t the only case like this. Marvin Arrivillaga, a 36-year-old from Minneapolis, knows the life of chemotherapy and dialysis well, as he was also diagnosed with both kidney disease and stage four colon cancer. This father of two understands the importance of colonoscopies and is now on a mission to help others by urging them to get checked … even if they’re well under the recommended 50 years.

“Get tested,” he says, “A colonoscopy might be uncomfortable for five minutes but, believe me, dealing with cancer for life is a little harder.”

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