It was a tough road for Patti Love, battling cancer for years.
"You never forget that one statement when they say you have cancer and it does change your life," says Love.
Together with other cancer survivors, love is hoping no one hears those words. Angie Chewing-Lewis is called a champion; in charge of recruiting 600 volunteers for a 20 year nationwide cancer study.
"To help find that cure, to help find that one thing that is going to save our friends and families, so we don't have to go through this anymore," says Chewing-Lewis.
Doctor Michael Friedlander with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine highlighted why cancer free volunteers should participate in the study, to end a nationwide problem.
According to his research 12 million Americans are living with cancer or are survivors of cancer, and every year about 500,000 people die from the disease. The number two cause of death, right behind heart disease.
"Impacts all of us. Anything that can allow us to understand what really works or doesn't work, and decrease the likelihood of cancer is a very positive thing," says Friedlander,
Last week Carolyn Williams heard the first bit of good news in years, she is cancer free.
"There was very little cancer in my family, and no one had colon cancer so hopefully with this someone like me won't have to take this journey or if they do it will be easier," says Williams.
And for anyone who participates in the study, they hold a special place in her heart.
"People that are willing to go out and recruit people to commit 20 years of this life to help find a cure, they are my hero," says Williams.
Helping to prevent cancer from taking another loved one.
To find out how you can sign up for the study visit the link below: