We at Colorectal Cancer Resource & Action Network (CCRAN) are in the privileged position to inform, educate and support patients and their caregivers as they undergo their colorectal cancer journey. We are, therefore, honored to share these inspirational testimonials provided by patients and caregivers.  These are personal accounts shared by patients, survivors, and their loved ones. They provide personal perspectives on how they were assisted by CCRAN throughout the most difficult and vulnerable moments of their lives as they navigated the health care system, obtained pertinent, evidence-based information on the management of the disease as well as helped to reduce feelings of loneliness, anxiety and distress.

These are the stories of strength and perseverance that are the makings of everyday HEROES. Please read on..…..

This is an organization that is here for people like you and I, who desperately require support, guidance and above all education so that we can get through the ups and downs that we go through when battling this horrible disease.  CCRAN furnishes patients and caregivers with valuable monthly support groups wherein we are able to tell our stories and receive the best up to date information about the management of the disease and the most current medicines and therapies designed to help us.

I am so fortunate that I started my journey with CCRAN because without them I would not be “cancer-free today”!  What a gift they gave not only to me but to my precious children and husband!

Thank you, Filomena, for all your support and guidance you have given me and my family!!! You truly are an “Angel”!

Marie Taurasi

Colorectal Cancer Survivor

It has been 2 years now since my diagnosis in January 2018.  After 24 months of chemotherapy, I am blessed to be in a period of remission.  My latest CT scans show 95% of the tumours have resolved.  I have actually taken chemo holidays throughout these past two years which have been wonderful. I am optimistic about my meeting with the oncologist but no matter what the news, I am prepared to tackle things head on, with faith, the love of family and friends and the continued advocacy and support of Filomena and Colorectal Cancer Resource & Action Network.

Bill McGinley

Stage IV Patient

 I was made aware of CCRAN from a doctor I was accidently referred to and it changed our lives.  I decided to call the number and spoke with Filomena and as soon as I spoke with her I indeed knew that I had called “the right place”.  She was passionate, caring and a wealth of knowledge. She encouraged us to attend monthly colorectal cancer information and support group meetings.  We started to attend these meetings and they have provided us with a wealth of information, support and friendship. 

The Christodoulou Family

At the CCRAN monthly meetings each of us talk about our individual situations and then we exchange ideas of how to help each other with our struggles and speak to our successes as well. The group leader, Filomena, brings a wealth of research information to each meeting and brings us up-to-date and explains in detail the latest findings.  We come away empowered with more and more knowledge each time.

Linda Wilkins

Stage IV Survivor

CCRAN will always be committed to educating and supporting all patients and their caregivers affected by this disease when called upon. The monthly colorectal cancer information/support group meetings, peer-to-peer support for patients and caregivers, research and information sharing on the latest advancements and expert presentations are among the resources available to us – for FREE. The amazing PATIENT ADVOCACY provided by CCRAN is what sets this organization apart from all others.  I have never witnessed so much passion and dedication. Both Ana and I are grateful to be under CCRAN’s wing.

Gus Valdez


I had routine screenings, I exercised, ate healthy all my life, so I educated myself as to how this could have happened to me.  But I was in shock from having heard those words – stage IV! So, I decided to have a pity day from which I could not rise.  My husband decided to seek out a colorectal cancer information/support group hosted by Colorectal Cancer Resource & Action Network (CCRAN).

Within the hour of sending an email, I heard back from Filomena, who heads up the group.   She provided her phone number, told me to call her anytime and invited us to the monthly Colorectal Cancer Information/Support Group meeting the next day.  My husband (Jeff) and I attended, listened to the stories of others and then told our story.  I explained how two doctors had agreed I needed my entire colon removed because of the risk of secondary cancer.  I disagreed.  Filomena was reassuring, compassionate and asked if I was interested in a third opinion.  That is when we learned Filomena was also a lightning bolt of action.

Carol Johnston

Stage IV Patient

Geoff was given the all clear after his 12 rounds of chemo and we were thrilled.  Then less than 2 years later it returned with a vengeance.  Stage IV – colon, liver, lungs and bones.  I remember calling Filomena in tears and she said, “there are no tears here, together we are going to fight”.   The next thing I know, she made sure we got in to see one of the best doctors so we could find out what our options were

Joy Coulson


I have worked in not-for-profit my whole career, yet I never thought to find the association that deals with colorectal cancer, not until that day. I wish that I had found them 3 years ago because that moment, that day when I reached out to Colorectal Cancer Resource & Action Network (CCRAN), our life changed, our fight changed, and our outcome changed

Christina Halladay


Although I didn’t find CCRAN at the beginning of our ride, I did eventually find them and specifically Filomena Servidio-Italiano.  They have played a huge part in my husband’s care ever since.  Not just my husband, but to patients all across Canada.   If I have a question about a new drug/clinical trial or treatment option, CCRAN is always available to go through it with me.  This has saved me countless hours in research. When I find information on a possible treatment, I have a knowledgeable/reliable source to call. 



I had a scheduled early C-section in January 2015 to deliver our teeny-tiny Olivia at 32 weeks. As soon as it was possible, I started radiation therapy in March, followed by surgery in July and chemotherapy in December.  I made it through the ordeal, somehow, thanks to my amazing, resourceful and dedicated husband Dave, my parents and mother-in-law, the support of family and friends who knew what I was going through, the stellar doctors and nurses at Sunnybrook Hospital, Colorectal Cancer Canada and countless others.   And of course, Olivia. She saved me, literally.  

Armina Ligaya


My name is Theresa Fielding. My journey started in 2015, when I was diagnosed with stage 2 Colorectal Cancer. After receiving the typical standard of care, the disease spread to my liver in 2017 and again in 2018. Both times I was a candidate for liver resections.
     In 2019 the spread was to my porta hepatis, on my esophagus and in my retroperitoneal area. I was now deemed inoperable and panic set in. This is when I received a response to a desperate post on one of my fb support groups. A wonderful support group friend mentioned that I should get in touch with Filomena and CCRAN and that’s when everything changed. Filomena is so knowledgeable, comforting and has such a take charge attitude that I finally felt like I had someone in my corner that understood what I was going through. She guided me through the decisions I had to make about treatment options and helped me to come up with a concrete plan. I’m happy to say that the treatments worked and I’ve been NED for 6 months I feel I owe a large part of that success to Filomena and her guidance. She is there for you 24/7 through email, text or phone call. I am so grateful that she came in to my life. I can’t tell the difference it has made.

Theresa Fielding

Stage IV Cancer Survivor from Nova Scotia

The organization took the time to listen to my case and my unique concerns as a patient. They provided education, direction and gave me the confidence to seek further opinions and treatment options. Rather than feeling like a passive participant in my cancer care, I was beginning to feel like I had some control in how things should move forward. My mood and outlook changed for the better. 

Amrit Kooner

Stage IV Patient

There aren’t enough words to say what CCRAN’s monthly Information/Support Group meetings have done for our daughter Josie and family.

We attended the monthly group meetings faithfully wherein we were furnished with so much information by the support group facilitator on treatments and the disease.

Liborio Gurreri

Loving Father