Though Colin's life was short, the breadth with which he lived it was immeasurable. Throughout his 28 years, Colin impressed upon everyone a personality so humble, hilarious, loving and genuine that everyone invariably grew to love him. And there is no better proof of this than the incredible outpouring of support he received as word of his condition spread.
But then a strange irony occurred. Those who came to Colin's side intent on helping him found another scenario unfolding. They found that Colin was actually helping them.
Despite his dire circumstances, Colin never altered his positive attitude and loving demeanor, giving everyone who came to him confused and scared a sense of solace and hope as they left. And while looking unimaginable circumstances square in the face, Colin shed his fears, caring only that those who loved him not worry. His selflessness in spite of his situation is a feat that no ordinary person could accomplish.
Sadly, cancer claimed Colin's life in August of 2005, but by no means did he lose his battle with this dreadful disease. In fact, he soundly beat it by imparting his unwavering spirit on to his loved ones, living on through the collective memory of his family and friends.
A brief history of Colin's battle with cancer:
In November of 2003, Colin noticed an anomalous growth on the right side of his neck. Doctors performed a precautionary biopsy of his lymph node, discovering that he had nasopharyngeal cancer. They determined that the cancerous cells surrounding his lymph node were a metastasis, but they could not locate the primary source. Over the next six months, Colin underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments in an attempt to scourge the cancer.
In June of 2004, Colin received uplifting news: he was in remission. Unfortunately, this good news was short-lived. A second scan three months later revealed that the cancer had spread to his lungs. This led to the decision for Colin to undergo thoracic surgery in October of 2004 to remove cancerous cells in his lungs and on his pericardium. Recovery from this major surgery was extremely taxing on Colin, but he steadfastly continued his treatment plan, receiving additional chemotherapy over the next three months, concluding in February of 2005.
However, subsequent scans revealed that the cancer would not relent. Inoperable nodes in his chest expanded, and metastases were discovered on his liver. With all traditional methods now exhausted, Colin augmented his battle by adopting a strict, healthy diet, exercising as his strength would allow it, and seeking entrance into clinical trials that held promise with regard to his condition.
But before Colin could take part in clinical trials, the cancer took him from us, and he passed into the clearing on August 1st, 2005. Today, RAI, initially formed to help Colin defray the staggering cost of treatment, perseveres as an organization dedicated to helping others who find themselves in situations similar to his.
You can help Colin's spirit continue to touch people's lives by making a donation in support of battling cancer.