Reviewed By: Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: March 11, 2010
Director: John Sullivan, © 2002
Information: 60 minutes | $27 US
Craig Wilson is an American attorney living and working in Thailand. In searching for a way to exercise after the death of his father of a heart attack, he discovers boxing. At first, it is a way to get in shape, but he is soon drawn into the excitement of the ring, where he regularly spars with boxers half his age. A few years into his boxing “career”, Craig returned to the United States, where he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
For several years, his condition was managed through diet and exercise, but things worsened. Craig received the news that he had rectal cancer and would need surgery and chemotherapy and be left with a colostomy. Many patients have great difficulty excepting life with a colostomy. Not Craig Wilson, he looked at the bright side, his 20-30 trips to the bathroom a day due to colitis would end- and he would survive cancer.
But many people would suffice to just go on living with their new colostomy and giving up life as they knew it. Craig decided boxing may be dangerous to his new colostomy, but exercise was not and began training for the New York City Marathon, which he completed in 1997. As he healed and adjusted to life after cancer, he was drawn back to the ring. A few precautions and he was home again, boxing, working and living in Thailand.
Craig’s story can be an inspiration to us all, but particularly those facing life with a colostomy. Like Craig, many people live rewarding and inspirational lives with a colostomy. If his story helps one person see their post cancer life as a second chance, he’ll be satisfied. This could be a nice addition to a cancer center’s resource library or an inspirational gift for a friend facing a difficult time.