- Danielle Ripley-Burgess shares her raw and honest journey with colon cancer in 'Blush: How I Barely Survived 17.'
Diagnosed with colon cancer at the ages of 17 and 25, Danielle Ripley-Burgess tells her story in her memoir Blush: How I Barely Survived 17.
Now at 36, Ripley-Burgess shares her story covering body shame, divorce, infertility, and facing a crisis of faith—in addition to detailing her experiences through chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery before graduating high school.
“I started to write this book to help people understand that girls like me can get colon cancer and to inspire other teens struggling with embarrassment to not hide their bodies,” said Ripley-Burgess. “As I faced a second cancer, became a mom, and embraced survivorship, I realized my cancer story is part of a bigger story. My sickness was not isolated from other life challenges. I hope Blush is a conversation starter for families, especially those with tween and teen girls.”
Ripley-Burgess says she lived a “normal” life until specks of blood began appearing following bowel movements in eighth grade, something she kept secret for many years. Once she revealed her symptoms, she was rushed into a colonoscopy that found stage III colorectal cancer at age 17. Medical teams aggressively treated her cancer and she went into remission but eight years later at age 25, stage I colon cancer was detected. In the decade that followed her second diagnosis, she learned she has Lynch syndrome, a genetic disease behind her cases. Yet despite her setbacks, she became a national spokesperson for colorectal cancer, started a family through adoption, and experienced the healing of her shattered faith.
Dedicated to her daughter who will turn ten this fall, Ripley-Burgess says raising a young girl was the ultimate motivation for putting her life experience to words.
Blush: How I Barely Survived 17 will be released on September 15.