UPDATED: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 8:21pm
COLLEGE STATION, Tx (KYLE) — It's a disease that doesn't discriminate.
Every year more than one million people in the United States gets cancer and Kristin Donatello was one of them 18 years ago when she was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer at the age of 24.
"I remember looking up at the doctor and he had these thick glasses on and on the bottom of the glasses it was just wet with water and I knew then, I knew it was bad," she said.
Given only months to live, with two young children and a day old baby, Donatello agreed to take part in a research project at MD Anderson knowing it wouldn't help her but would eventually help someone else down the road.
Little did she know, it ended up helping her own children.
"Each child had a 50/50 chance at getting the gene and unfortunately they all got it."
Now men and women in the Bryan-College Station area between the ages of 30-65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer, with the exception of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer, will have the chance to help save someone's life by agreeing to participate in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-3.
"In the time that it takes to eat dinner, people can enroll in the cancer prevention study and they'll actually make a difference that lives far beyond their own lifetime," said American Cancer Society spokeswoman, Jackie Bayly-Bryant.
CPS-3 will study more than 300,000 people over the next 20-30 years through periodic follow-up surveys.
The information collected will provide researchers with insight as to what causes cancer and how to prevent it, something Donatello says is a selfless act.
"It's like paying it forward because it's going to help you or your loved ones down the line, said Donatello. "Don't wait for it to happen to you when you can do something about it now."
To enroll in the research study, all you have to do is go to CancerStudyTX.org and make an appointment.
At your scheduled appointment on either Sept. 17 at Scott and White or Oct. 18 at St. Joseph, you'll fill out a short survey, give your measurements and a one-time blood sample.
You can also call 1-888-604-5888 to schedule the appointment.