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Danielle Ripley-Burgess
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Danielle is a two-time colon cancer survivor and adoptive mama. She was diagnosed with colon cancer a few weeks after her 17th birthday in 2001 and again at age 25 in 2009. She is Miss October in the 2009 Colondar, a calendar of young colon cancer survivors and works with advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer. Currently in remission, Danielle is passionate about spreading a message of hope. Read more at

Entries by Danielle Ripley-Burgess

Lindsey's Lights Will Forever Shine

(8) Comments | Posted February 24, 2016 | 9:47 AM

There she was -- a beautiful young woman with a third-trimester-sized belly sitting in what appeared to be an infusion room hash-tagging her Instagram photo #coloncancersucks.


In disbelief I looked at the photo, and then looked...

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Racial Tension Isn't About Them. It's About Us.

(2) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 5:04 PM

Disclaimer: I'm a white female from Missouri who grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City. I was raised and am currently middle class. My adopted daughter is biracial. And the only time I can remember feeling inequality personally is when my brother could drive to the Royals stadium in...

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(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 3:42 AM


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Learning to Not Be a Cancer-Surviving Control Freak

(5) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 11:44 AM

By the looks of my house, you wouldn't think I'm a control freak. There's often more out of place than in place. Some stuff doesn't even have a place. Clothes, kitchenware and decor float around and change places every now and then. It really doesn't bother me.

I can usually...

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5 Ways for You to Give Back Even If You Work for "The Man"

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2015 | 5:15 PM

As a child of the 1990s-2000s who grew up on Boy Meets World, I love professionally mentoring millennials who are a few years younger than myself. I have an inner "Mr. Feeny" and can't help but take young millenals under my wing.

As I've built relationships with millenials entering the...

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Cancer Is in the Eye of the Beholder

(6) Comments | Posted May 16, 2015 | 10:30 AM

I wish I understood contemporary art museums. I really do. But most of the time, the creative genius behind the displays is totally lost on me. Someone can stick chewed up pieces of pink and blue bubble gum all over a light pole, and it's an eyesore and damage to...

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5 Reasons the Kansas City Royals Aren't the Worst

(4) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 10:13 AM

I never write about baseball. But today, I'm writing about baseball.

I hate that I clicked on the article "13 Reasons the Kansas City Royals are the Worst" because my click added traffic to a page I wish would quickly fade out of my Facebook news feed....

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I Don't Look Sick in Big Earrings

(1) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 11:41 AM

It's not because I want to look flashy. I promise. I'm typically kind of shy and behind-the-scenes.

I grew up a tomboy at heart. In my adolescence you'd find me with a box of crayons or a football over a Barbie dream house any day. But as I've gotten...

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Capitalizing on Cancer

(2) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 2:08 PM

There are a few things that motivate me enough to climb on top of my writer's soapbox and speak out about what I feel is an injustice to society.

One of those things hit my mailbox last week.

A well-known catalog selling all types of products from sunglasses, beads, bracelets,...

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Mama, Will You Hold My Hand?

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 11:07 AM

I spent the weekend away from my daughter and I'll be honest, part of it was nice. I love the inquisitiveness of her 3-year-old mind, but not having the girls at the bachelorette party ask me "why" I went pee, "why" I ate the blue M&M first or "why" birds...

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Stepping Away From Cancer

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 2:43 PM

Today my Facebook feed is full of photos synched from Instagram, photos full of 12 new individuals who I hugged once this week, some of them twice, yet now consider family.

The photo shoot for The Colon Club's Colondar 2.0 just wrapped up and a new group of...

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The Magic and Wonder of Surviving Cancer

(1) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 10:47 AM

The giddy little girl that loved pretend play and watching princesses on VHS tapes reappeared the first time I stood in front of Cinderella's castle at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Prior to leaving for the trip, visiting Disney with the family didn't appear so "cool." As a 13-year-old,...

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Candid Advice for the Colorectal Cancer Survivor

(1) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 3:50 PM

I'm almost 13 years into surviving colorectal cancer. Thirteen years of potty talk. Colonoscopies. Running to the restroom. Jokes about farts. Random calls about things people saw in their toilet.

You name it, I've tackled it, faced it or lived through it. And if I haven't -- I guarantee one...

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Cancer-Surviving Commitment-Phobe

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 1:34 PM

I'll go ahead and put it out there. I'm afraid of commitment. Well -- not major commitments. I am married. We pay a monthly mortgage. And we adopted a baby.

I can handle the "typical" types of big commitments.

But it's what most consider minor events that really illuminate my...

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Wanted: Colon-Friendly Restaurant

(3) Comments | Posted July 6, 2013 | 1:48 PM

Why is it that at some point or another, many of us dream about opening a restaurant?


I can barely manage to make dinner for my three-person family the majority of the week. But yet when I daydream, I sometimes come up with menu...

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10 Ways to Emotionally Fight Cancer

(1) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 1:45 PM

I spent all of last week at what I affectionally call "Colon Camp." Part of my role with The Colon Club involves writing the bios of young colon cancer survivors who become models for The Colondar, a calendar featuring 12 men and women who've been diagnosed with colon...

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Today Was a Gift -- Until I Burned My Soup

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 7:15 PM

I'm having a down day today.

Maybe it's because of the rainy Kansas City weather that's clouded the sunshine. My highly anticipated plans for tonight were cancelled. And, I burned my soup for lunch.

Seriously -- who burns soup?

It's days like today that I realize that sometimes the advice...

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Hand Me a Cape -- I'm a Lynch Syndrome Mutant

(7) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 3:59 PM

I married a guy who loves X-Men and throughout our marriage, I've grown to know and love the characters in Marvel's famous stories too. Storm is my favorite; I think controlling the weather rocks.

It's not just the X-Men that have made mutations a popular topic, at least among children. Those turtles...

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