FARGO — For one Fargo family, Mother's Day means celebrating life, and advocating for survivorship.
Amanda Houston's diagnosis of Stage 2 early onset colorectal cancer at age 31 pushed her 60 year old mother to be screened.
Doctors discovered her mother had Stage 4 colorectal cancer.
"I immediately thought - well I'm going to die. Like as stark as that sounds but in my experiences the people who i had know who had cancer did pass away," Amanda says.
90% of colorectal cancer cases occur in people over 50 and cases for people under 50 rise 2% every year.
It was Houston's diagnosis that pushed her then 60 year old mother, Deb, to be screened.
Deb was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.
What followed was supporting her mother through chemo and surgery and years of follow up appointments.
"As loving and caring as your mother, who really, really truly understands what you are going through. I mean I went through it but I couldn't imagine not having her with me. I wish we didn't go through it but I guess if we had to, we did it together," Amanda says.
7 years later, Deb and Amanda are survivors, taking care of Amanda's two daughters.
"All these milestones that I never thought I would see, I'm seeing, and my mom. It's really great. They are a little more special I think. Just thinking back to that moment where i wasn't sure I was going to see them," she says.
Her oldest is now a nurse and her youngest is just graduating high school.
"Mother's Day is always a great day. I love just celebrating my mom and all the other moms. My kids and my husband usually spoil me," Amanda says.
Now, she wants everyone to be there for the special moments.
She works with fight CRC to advocate for screening and research funding.
The CDC reports people should begin screening for colorectal cancers at age 50, but if you have a family history or symptoms of colorectal cancer, you can be screened as young as 20 years old.