It was hard growing up not knowing anyone outside of my family with FAP but my family is very close knit and I am forever grateful for the love and support I have received from my family.
My grandpa and I were extremely close. He was a formidable Army Veteran of WWII. He was a strong man who never let his FAP or ileostomy stop him from what he wanted to do. I greatly admired him but I didn't understand his strength in relation to FAP until toward the end of his life and afterward. He survived colon cancer but we unfortunately lost him to stomach cancer that spread to his esophagus. His death was a great loss to us.
Read more about his story: Touch of Cancer
My mother and I have a special relationship as we have the same rare diseases of FAP and Short Bowel Syndrome. Although I do not wish illness upon her, I am grateful that if we were both to be ill that we have each other to walk this road of rare disease and chronic illness together. My mother was diagnosed with colorectal cancer shortly after I was born and we nearly lost her to it. My mother is an incredible fighter and she has survived many health complications including the Whipple procedure.
Read more about her story: Touch of Cancer
Read more about his story: A Caregiving Father and A Look at Caregiving