In Healthwise, we pay tribute to a Lubbock man who lost his life to a disease he dedicated himself to bringing awareness to. Lubbock photographer Ken Porter died Thursday, after losing his battle to Colon Cancer.
The 52-year-old was known for taking portraits, but most recently became the face of Colon Cancer awareness. In addition, when he was diagnosed with stage three Colon Cancer 3 years ago; he made his fight public by being part of Karin McCay's Colon Cancer Awareness. Since then, he devoted much of his time to awareness.
For more than 15 years, Ken Porter snapped Dana Madison's family Christmas photos.
"All three of my boys had the same truck. So one year we decided to do one with a truck. Then they also loved to go fishing so on a beautiful day Ken called and said this year we need to do fishing," Madison said.
When Ken was diagnosed with Colon Cancer three years ago, Madison became one of the first he would visit after treatment.
"Literally, get out of the hospital and would come over here that afternoon or the next day and say hello, I'm doing fine. How are you? How are the boys," Madison added.
Dr. Vugrin, Chairman of the Lubbock Colon Cancer Prevention Task Force, said, "He had a fairly aggressive disease that was treated with surgery and chemotherapy, and while a majority of people with combined chemotherapy and surgery survive this type of cancer, he was one that did not."
However, what he did do was educate others about Colon Cancer, helping Lubbock become a leader nationwide in screening for the disease, earning Lubbock recognition.
"One of the first people I invited because I wanted him to be at that event because he greatly contributed to the success of Colon prevention in our region," Dr. Vurgin said.
Part of which entailed Karin McCay and our NewsChannel 11 cameras tagging along to doctor's visits in 2005.
"Just think of it as a pina colada minus the little pineapple thing on the rim here," Porter said before a CT scan in 2005.
Doctors found a cancerous tumor in Ken's colon, which is part of the large intestine. In addition, the lining is a prime spot for polyps or tiny growths to develop.
"Progressively it grows bigger and then spreads to the lympnods and spread the rest of the body. If you catch it early it can be removed and remove the disease part of the colon in time before any cancer cells broke off, you can cure people," Dr.Vugrin said.
This is the message that Ken spent the last years of his life rolling with across the South Plains with.
"My husband right after Ken was diagnosed he went and had a colonoscopy, and I have called to have one scheduled mine," Madison said.
The American Cancer Society recommends starting Colon Cancer screenings at the age of 50, but if you have a history of the disease, doctors say you need to get screened even earlier or a history of rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habits or chronic iron deficiency.
If you want more information, you can get a free Colon Cancer information kit. Just call the American Cancer Society. That number is 1-800-ACS-2345.
A memorial service for Ken Porter will be held on Monday morning at 11:00 at Lake Ridge Methodist Church.
Donations can be made in Ken's name to the Going Band Alumni Association, Lake Ridge Methodist Church-Instruments of Trade and The American Cancer Society.
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