Bunnie Schwartz’s sister Maureen was only 46 when she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. No one close to Maureen, not Bunnie, nor any one of her family or friends had any knowledge of this silent, but deadly, disease. They were also unsure of where or who to turn to for support.
After Maureen’s death in 1996, Bunnie and Maureen’s daughter Amy Lerman-Elmaleh, along with Christine Pineau-Burke recognized the need for an organization that could provide information as well as family and patient support that would also serve as a viable fundraising platform. Colon Cancer Canada was established in 1996 as a small but feisty organization dedicated to increasing awareness and raising money for colon cancer.
Tragically, a few years later, Bunnie’s own husband Howard, then 39, was diagnosed with stage three, colorectal cancer. Bunnie again witnessed the pain this disease inflicts on its patients and experienced first hand the impact it has on family members. Howard’s death further deepened her personal motivation and commitment to this cause.
What started as a grass roots organization with a driven team of two steadily gained momentum and support. Today, Colon Cancer Canada (CCC) boasts a strong base of hundreds of committed volunteers throughout Canada, and the Colon Cancer Canada Advisory Board is comprised of respected colorectal cancer medical experts and patients.