(Media release from Harbin Clinic):

This March, Harbin Clinic shares the story of colon cancer survivor and Cartersville resident, Christi Malec. An avid tennis player in Cartersville and the Deputy Chief of the Marietta Fire Department, Malec is well-known as a disciplined, health-conscious individual in her community. Her story is a reminder of the life-saving power of receiving a colonoscopy.

A Health Shock:

Malec carried around a physician’s referral for a colonoscopy for two years before she considered scheduling her appointment. The morning she went in for her procedure, Malec says her Harbin Clinic physician joked saying, “We’re going to make sure you look as healthy on the inside as you are on the outside.” She grinned at the comment as she fell asleep for the procedure.

When Malec woke up, she experienced world-altering news. Her colonoscopy revealed a cancerous tumor had breached two of the four walls of her colon, classifying it as a stage two cancer. Even as the doctor set things in motion, the possibility of bad news was still not sinking in for Malec.

Describing her surprise, she says, “I had not had a cold in three years. I’ve never had COVID to my knowledge. My husband and I couldn’t believe anything could be wrong, and yet I had probably been walking around with a cancerous tumor for five to seven years.”

A Colonoscopy Advocate:

On Monday, Malec had her colonoscopy. By Wednesday, Harbin Clinic General Surgeon Dr. John Simmons had Malec in his office and had scheduled surgery to remove the tumor the following Tuesday.

Two weeks after Malec’s successful surgery, she was working out and playing tennis again. She had very little pain and did not require any follow-up cancer treatment. The day she went back to the Fire Department, she sat in her office wondering, “Did this really happen?”

“I am the biggest proponent of colonoscopies now,” says Malec, “I’m telling everyone, ‘Get your colonoscopy!’ But also, I want people to hear about the quality of care I received from Harbin Clinic.”

Christi Malec’s story is a miraculous one, but her story begins with a routine and yet lifesaving screening, and her story could have had a very different ending.

“I was here to welcome my first grandbaby into the world last summer because I finally got my colonoscopy,” Malec shares.

The bottom line? There is no better time to schedule a colonoscopy than today, especially for those 45 years of age or older. Don’t wait another minute. Talk with a primary care provider about a referral or learn more at harbinclinic.com/bottomline

For more on Christi’s story, watch her video here.