OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As February draws to a close, it's important to note that March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
After Ryan Shadle lost his father to the disease in 2021, he's harnessing his father's story for good. Ryan is one of 12 people featured in a new campaign that is launching on the National Mall in Washington DC. He's an advocate for the group "Fight Colorectal Cancer," a worthy cause for his much-loved and much-missed father.
"He was an idol growing up, I think he's kind of like the person you look up to, as far as like, a dad goes," Ryan said.
Ryan's father, Paul Shadle, was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer at the age of 44.
"He did the best for us his whole entire life. Never once showed any weakness or any type of struggle through his fight with cancer," Ryan said.
Paul was previously picked in 2018 to join others for a national campaign that debuted in Times Square. After his father's death, Ryan is continuing the fight by participating in another campaign to shed light on some startling statistics.
"It's gonna be one of the top killers of people by 2030. I mean, the rates are skyrocketing for early-onset diagnosis, and people not getting enough screening, especially because of the pandemic," Ryan said.
Raising awareness about early screening is a top priority for this son.
"Most recently, something we were able to do is lower the screening age from 50 to 45. For someone like him, that could have been life-changing," Ryan said.
He's a son whose father's legacy lives on in him.
"There's not a day that goes by that we don't think about him, but I think one thing I've been trying to do is continue my work with Fight CRC for him," Ryan said.
Ryan's photo and story will appear on outdoor digital boards next to the Colorectal Cancer Installation in DC on the National Mall from March 13 through 18.
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