Jon Olis's Story
Fireworks explode in the distance. July 4th, 2004. He watches them with his family - pregnant wife and two-year old daughter. Well...not with his family. He watches through the window of the hospital. His family in the distance. One of the few times he found himself alone without either his wife or his father by his side.
The worse way to discover you have F.A.P. is when the cancer is too advanced to treat. A close second is when the classic symptom presents itself - the ubiquitous blood in the stool - and your trusted physician misdiagnoses it as a bleeding hemorrhoid and leaves the cancer to grow.
Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence. Just ask Jon Olis. His doctor missed an opportunity to catch his F.A.P. at an earlier stage back in 1998.
But six years later, Jon Olis returned to his doctor with flu-like symptoms, more rectal bleeding, and anemia, and was returned a diagnosis of both F.A.P. and Stage III colon cancer. Two surgeries later - one to remove his colon and one to fix a leak that had developed - and with chemotherapy looming ahead, Jon had only one thought, "What if this terrible disease takes me away from my daughter, my wife and my yet to be born son?” He became resolute. His children would have a father. His wife, a husband. He would beat this and live on.
Fast forward to summer of 2006. Jon has beaten colon cancer. He has lived through chemotherapy. He has survived FOUR major surgeries, three ultimately due to complications from the first one, and is back enjoying his passion - mountain biking. Even as the muscles in his abdominal wall continued to heal, a friend suggests they put together a four-man team to train and compete in a 12-hour endurance mountain biking team.
The result? Not only did they win the three race endurance racing series, but to his own amazement, he found he was the fastest on the team. He later won a solo race. Then placed third in another race. He continues to compete. And he continues to win. If you ask him how, he'll clue you in on his secret.
It's not really fair. Those other guys don't stand a chance. You see, when Jon gets on his bike, when he's at the bottom of the mountain, he pushes himself harder and harder and does everything he can to leave his cancer at the bottom of the hill. He's not just riding to win. He is literally, "riding away from [his] cancer."
Read more about Jon Olis in his interview for The ColonClub and in an interview in the OC Register. You can catch up with him on these Facebook forums as well: ColonTown, FAP GAP, Colon Cancer Aliance, FAP, Living with FAP, CRACS, and No Colon and Still Rollin.’