Chelmsford Colon Cancer Survivor Shares Her Story In Support Of State Bill

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CHELMSFORD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A woman from Chelmsford has decided to share her story in hopes of raising awareness for the need for younger individuals to receive routine screenings for colon cancer. Alexa Morell, a colon cancer survivor, has teamed up with Massachusetts State Representative James Arciero with a proposed bill to make colonoscopies easier for younger people to get and afford.

In 2019 Morell had been a new mother of a 13-month-old child when she learned she had colon cancer. But her only symptom at the time was blood in her stool, the first instance she experienced any sign of colon cancer.

"A lot of people in healthcare were like 'oh, you're a new mom- that's not too alarming,' but I just kept an eye on it, and it didn't go away in over two weeks," Morell told WBZ NewsRadio's Shari Small.

Two weeks later Morell had been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at 29-years-old. The cancer had spread from her colon to her liver, and eventually to her lung. Doctors estimated that Morell had likely been living with the cancer for seven to ten years.

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Morell said her and her family teamed up with Arciero to propose a bill, House Bill 4145, that would lower the age of insurance coverage in Massachusetts for routine colonoscopy screenings, allowing people at least 30-years-old to get them covered. As of September, the House Bill 4145 was moved to Financial Services, according to the state's General Court. The current legislation was set to apply for people at least 45-years-old, unless patients showed symptoms.

"This is a silent and often deadly disease- my goal now is to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else," said Morell.

After several surgeries, a dozen rounds of chemotherapy, and radiation treatments, Morell's scans have been cancer-free for about six months.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports

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