Humanitarian Disaster Institute Founder to Appear in Times Square Colorectal Cancer Awareness Campaign

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Jamie Aten, Ph.D., a stage IV colorectal cancer survivor, will appear in Fight Colorectal Cancer's national awareness campaign this March

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Jamie Aten, Ph.D.

Rather than armor up and soldier through the trauma training I offer and attempt to bounce my own experiences away, I've embraced vulnerability and let others into my struggle. I've looked for ways to combine both my professional disaster research with my personal disaster of cancer to help others.

Jamie Aten, Ph.D., the founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Blanchard Chair of the M.A. in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership program located at Wheaton College (Ill.) will appear in New York City’s Times Square alongside 12 other cancer survivors and caregivers. Aten, a stage IV colorectal cancer survivor, was diagnosed at the young age of 35. He is joining the nonprofit advocacy organization Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) who will run a PSA including Aten's picture during the NASDAQ Opening Bell Ceremony on Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. ET. Fight CRC’s Facebook page will feature Dr. Aten’s story on March 13.

Dr. Aten joined Fight CRC as a 2020 Ambassador to share his personal story, which he also told in his award-winning memoir, “A Walking Disaster” (Templeton Press), that releases in paperback March 1. As a disaster psychologist and researcher, his expertise is being highlighted throughout several patient resources such as the Emotional First Aid blog series and the Fight CRC podcast. He will be one of three panelists at Fight CRC’s annual Call-on Congress hosted in Washington D.C. on March 15 to help survivors and caregivers learn how to both share their stories yet resiliently cope with trauma and pain. Dr. Aten is applying what he has studied in disaster zones about resilience and now studying cancer survivor resilience with a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

“Throughout my cancer journey, I've grown to understand that professional and personal can never be neatly separated,” said Dr. Aten. “Rather than armor up and soldier through the trauma training I offer and attempt to bounce my own experiences away, I've embraced vulnerability and let others into my struggle. I've looked for ways to combine both my professional disaster research with my personal disaster of cancer to keep helping others.”

His story is one of many launching the annual Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month campaign, a movement uniting over one million survivors of colorectal cancer and their loved ones to get behind a cure and prevent future cases with screening.

“Each year Fight CRC selects a group of ambassadors from across the country to represent our community year-round and especially during March, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month,” said Anjee Davis, president of Fight CRC. “Dr. Aten has bravely rallied to raise awareness and I hope his story resonates with people and provokes the more than 30 million people aged 45 years and older who have NOT been screened to get screened!”

Colon and rectal (colorectal) cancers make up the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. among men and women combined. Sixty percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with screening.

For more about Dr. Aten, visit jamieaten.com.

To read more stories from other relentless champions in the fight against colorectal cancer, visit FightCRC.org.

About Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC)
Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) is a leading patient-empowerment and advocacy organization in the United States, providing balanced and objective information on colon and rectal cancer research, treatment, and policy. We are relentless champions of hope, focused on funding promising, high-impact research endeavors while equipping advocates to influence legislation and policy for the collective good. Learn more at FightCRC.org.

About Jamie Aten, Ph.D.
Jamie Aten, Ph.D. (counseling psychology) is a Hurricane Katrina and stage IV colorectal cancer survivor. He is the founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Blanchard Chair of the M.A. in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership program at Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.). His latest book, “A Walking Disaster: What Katrina and Cancer Taught Me About Faith and Resilience,” (Templeton Press) releases in paperback on March 1, 2020. In 2016 Dr. Aten received the FEMA Community Preparedness Champion award at the White House. Follow him on Twitter at @drjamieaten or visit jamieaten.com.

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Jamie Aten
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since: 05/2013
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