At 33, Rachel Ellingson was living her best life. The Shanley High School (Fargo, ND) and University of North Dakota graduate was an attorney working in New York City and engaged to the love of her life, Daniel. People close to her describe her as kind, curious, and adventurous, with an infectious laugh.
After suffering bowel symptoms for some time, Rachel went to several doctors, who explained to her that she was too young for colorectal cancer. She persisted, however, and in October of 2015, she was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer. It had already metastasized to her liver and lungs.
If caught early, colorectal cancer can be treatable, and Rachel did undergo treatment. At the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, she underwent chemo-therapy, radiation treatments, and experimental drugs.
Tragically, on January 6, 2019, Rachel lost her fight with cancer, but her legacy lives on. Throughout the end of her life, Rachel’s utmost desire was to raise awareness for young-onset colorectal cancer. She became interested in the research, even starting a blog that highlighted some of that research and gave some insight into Rachel’s world.