Allison Rosen was born and raised in the beautiful state of Texas and is a loyal graduate of Texas A&M University. She is your typical young adult who loves sports, animals, hanging out with her friends, and volunteering her time for a good cause. She has worked in the world of Oncology researching at Baylor College of Medicine for over 11 years. Last year, she decided to move into cancer education and prevention for the underserved population. She is still at Baylor but works in the Dan L. Duncan Center in the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities. On June 7th, 2012, at the age of 32 after years of struggling with Crohn’s disease her life was turned upside down after a scope with her GI doctor, when she was diagnosed with Stage 2C colorectal cancer. She had been having some weird bowel symptoms for about a month but had put off her routine yearly scope because she was too busy. Cancer was the last thing on her mind. It wasn’t until things got to the point that she thought she had some sort of blockage in her small intestine that she scheduled her scope and that blockage turned out to be a 13 cm tumor.
She had combination radiation/chemotherapy, surgery to get a J-pouch and then chemotherapy Unfortunately her treatment, which she could write a novel about, and the healing process has been a very bumpy road with complication after complication that resulted in her having her ileostomy recently made permanent in December, 2016. Her goal now is to get back to the best quality of life possible and figure out what her new normal is now.
All this craziness she has experienced the past few years has helped her realize a new mission in life; to help others and spread awareness about young adult cancers. She volunteers her time and is a part of the Young Adult Advisory Council and the Patient and Family Advisory Council at MD Anderson, is on the Steering Committee for MD Anderson’s annual Survivorship conference, serves on the Ostomy support team for MD Anderson, is on the Never Too Young Advisory Board with the Colon Cancer Alliance, is an Ambassador for Figh Colorectal Cancer, and is the Chair of the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K in Houston with the Colon Cancer Coalition.
These along with various other opportunities with National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship and American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network and other organizations have allowed her to talk to politicians on Capitol Hill about various initiatives that were patient centered. Her passion for volunteering turned into a more personal mission, and every day that she can help someone endure the struggle of his or her own cancer journey gives Allison a wonderful sense of accomplishment.