Doug lived his life like so many of us wish we could — seizing every moment and cherishing love and laughter. He was a loyal friend, helping those he cared for and those in need. He was also the first to give you a hard time with his quick hysterical whit. These characteristics are evident in Doug and Heather’s daughter who he showed by example what a decent, caring, compassionate person should be. She is his most proud achievement.
In February 2013, at 41 years old, he was dealt a difficult hand. Diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, he was given 2 years ‘if he was lucky’. He didn’t talk about it much, but he went through multiple surgeries, countless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation in the hopes to buy another day with his family. He believed that two years just wouldn’t be enough.
The family credits Wells Messersmith, MD, with the gift of time. Facing the prospect of living two years, with a young family, Dr. Messermith gave them hope and an extra 2.5 years. As a young family, Doug and Heather decided to give back to Dr. Messermith so others could have access to the care he recieved. Doug was an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with a background in research. Finding a cure for cancer through research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus was a fitting cause. They hope this fund will raise awareness of colon cancer — specifically for young people.