MINNEAPOLIS - A successful local executive is taking on a fight she never dreamed she would face.
Diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, a former UnitedHealthcare COO is now on a mission to find a cure.
Like any hard-working professional, Danna
"One day I was walking up to the mailbox and found I had to sit down between my house and getting to the mailbox at the end of the driveway," said Mezin.
Fatigue being her only clue,
A year and a half later, she's handling this challenge, with words prominently displayed on her website, guts and grace.
Knowing her time is limited, Mezin and her husband, Dick
Researcher Tim Starr is trying to find genes that when mutated cause colon cancer. He said, "Her money can help me get preliminary data that I can leverage to get the big money."
Through grassroots fundraising, including bake sales and even gumball machines,
"The fact that we're over $140,000 and not even at our one year anniversary, we're so incredibly proud of that," said Mezin.
That means more money to help get other research projects started, research that could lead to treatments or even a cure.
She said, "Had I gotten my colonoscopy when I was 50, would there have been a different outcome? I'll never know the answer to that question. But I hope other people don't second guess themselves like I've had to second guess myself."
The Inaugural Guts and Grace Gala on March 7th, 2015 for