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Local mom encouraging others to get a colonoscopy

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BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Donna Farmer doesn't exactly have loads of spare time. She's a mom, grandma and owner of Burlington's longtime hotspot hair salon and day spa, Deja Groove.

"I am always doing the mom thing, the superwoman thing, just no time in my schedule, you know," laughed Farmer as she talked about how she didn't want to get a colonoscopy, a routine screening recommended for men and women when they turn 50 years old.

Farmer suffered from anemia and hadn't felt really good for a few years. Her doctor ordered a colonoscopy a few weeks before her 50th birthday just to rule out colon cancer.

"I thought I was too young to have to have a colonoscopy, plus my husband had just had one and his came out totally fine," Farmer said. "But then, after encouragement from my husband, I made the time to go. When you hear the word 'cancer,' you don't hear much of anything else."

Doctors told her it was stage three, the mass the size of a golf ball. Farmer had surgery and is now going through chemotherapy.

"My doctors believe they got all the cancer, but it was already in a few of my lymph nodes, so I'm doing chemo just to be on the safe side," Farmer said. "I am just so, so thankful. I am telling everyone about my story so hopefully they will go ahead and make the time for their colonoscopy. My heart skips a beat when I hear people say they will just do it later, because I was one of those people."

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