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A Wolverine's True Blue Fight: The Story of Michigan's Craig Roh

Craig Roh
© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Craig Roh's Story

Not all superheroes wear masks or capes or even have superpowers. Some just inspire people to make a decision that ends up saving their lives. At the young age of 33, Craig Roh passed away after an 18-month battle with cancer.  Roh was a former Michigan football player but more importantly a father and husband. The world found out about his passing after his wife posted a message on his X account that "God called him home." Roh fought an 18-month battle with stage 4 colon cancer. He was diagnosed in Aug 2022 with the disease. In the tragedy of his death, but the story of his fight, Roh will inspire people to get screened and help defeat the enemy which is colon cancer.

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is a disease that shows no prejudices or discrimination, it does not care if you are rich or

poor, black or white, or what age you are, it seemingly affects everyone. Colon cancer has been on the rise in people under the age of 50 since the 90s, so much so that they have dropped the age to start screening from 50 to 45 according to the U.S Preventative Task Force.  Colorectal cancer has become the fourth most common cancer in people aged 30-39. For men aged 50 and under, colorectal cancer is the deadliest form of cancer and its second only trailing breast cancer in women in that same age category according to the American Cancer Society.

A Message from the Author

Colon cancer has played a role in my own family losing both a grandmother and uncle to the disease. I also lost a family friend who had a beautiful soul, I miss talking Michigan football with her. Colon cancer has been such a major part of my life that my wife started to pressure me to do a colonoscopy earlier than recommended because of the history in my family.  It's something I did this past Jan. 2024, a process that was easier than I expected and turned out to be the right move after the doctor found and removed polyps during the procedure. Fortunately for myself, they were not cancerous but there were a few sleepless nights until I found out.

Colon/ rectal cancer, when found early, is a cancer with a very high survival rate of approximately 92% opposite finding it late which only holds an 11% rate. The increased number of young people getting colon/rectal cancer should be the reason we need to push for more people to get screened well before 45.  The problem is most young people either don’t know or don’t pay attention to the signs before it's too late.  I know I never did and it was not until a radio host by the name Jamie Samuelsen told his story and then passed away that convinced me that I should get screened.


Symptoms to look for (American Cancer Society)

-Change in bowel habits(diarrhea, constipation or narrowing of stool)

-Rectal Bleeding or blood in Stool

-Belly Discomfort(cramps, pain)

-No relief of the feeling that you need to have a bowel movement after having one

-Weakness or tiredness

-Losing Weight Without Trying



Honoring A Fighter's Legacy...

People like Craig Roh and Jamie Samuelsen are superheroes not because they possess a superpower or fight crime but because they dared to fight when many would have given up.  They inspire people to act and fight the evil that is cancer.  Because of their lives and the stories their lives told, a father will meet his daughter one day or a daughter will have a father who will walk her down the aisle.

In this growing world of billion-dollar TV deals, is the time right for the four power conferences to use some of that money to step up and help defeat the enemy of cancer? Through education and understanding, they would help convince many people to get screened and help save more lives than we could imagine. Considering March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the time is now to flip the script and put colon cancer on the defensive.  In this month of colorectal awareness, let us honor every person who has fallen to this disease and book a colonoscopy screening.



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