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Meet Colin Ferro of Epic Experience in Arvada

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colin Ferro.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Colin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I will never forget my college experience but that is for very different reasons than most college students. It was not because of the endless parties, staying up all night, my own independence or any of the normal college student experiences, it was because at that time during my junior year I was with my older brother at the hospital and heard the words “you have cancer.” I did not know what to do to support him, there was my best friend and brother sitting right before looking like the world as he knew it had dropped out beneath him. I did the one thing I knew I could do and what he always loved about our relationship, I made him smile and laugh in a uncomfortable situation. The rest of college was a roller coaster ride as I tried to support him emotionally during this cancer journey but this roller coaster led me to a path in life I never would have imagined, it led me to making a career in the non profit space and working for a cancer organization called Epic Experience. After my brothers’ journey, I had become very passionate about the cancer community, I wanted to be a part of it and shine light where I could in what could be dark times for many impacted by their own cancer diagnosis.

People often ask or assume that working in the cancer community is hard or depressing, I say and feel the opposite. I am blessed to have so many amazing genuine people come into my life in which I can create memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. At Epic Experience I have the honor of being the camp/program director at our weeklong camps. I encourage people to play on the river rafting and kayaking, in the winter I challenge them to run in snow shoes kicking snow over their heads, no matter what the season, I encourage adult cancer survivors and thrivers to play like kids again. At the core of all of this playing are the people I create these memories with, the conversations shared around the campfire, the laughter and smiles trying to learn to do something new and looking a little bit awkward and the tears shared talking about not when will we see each other next but possibly will we. We all want the timeline to live till we are 100 but what good is the timeline if we aren’t making memories and celebrating each day, and that is what my career at Epic Experience has given me, the celebration of each moment and each day.

Has it been a smooth road?
I have the honor of running the organization Epic Experience along side my Mom, Nancy. Nancy is the founder of Epic Experience and we put our heart and soul into the organization to ensure no cancer survivor or thriver we come in contact with is not alone in their journey. Our work, while rewarding, can also take an emotional toll.

Please tell us about the organization.
Cancer Survivorship is more than follow-up appointments, blood tests, and scans; it’s about living life to the fullest beyond cancer. Epic Experience empowers adult cancer survivors to do just that through free week-long adventures in the Colorado Rockies. Throughout the week, as participants challenge themselves physically, find community with other survivors, and talk through fears and worries, they gain hope and return home with insights to help them live and thrive beyond cancer. We also offer one day in person regional programs, virtual exercise classes, and our Beyond Cancer Series which focuses on storytelling from the perspectives of those in the cancer community. Our Mission – Epic Experience empowers adult cancer survivors and thrivers to live beyond cancer.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Our hope at Epic Experience is that one day we will be “out of business.” What I mean by that is we hope that someday there is a cure for all cancer and no one else has to face this disease. Until then we continue to offer impacting the adult cancer community. What we do within the cancer community is called a survivorship program. We are proud to offer Epic Experience programs to empower those cancer thrivers and recognize that our work is important to heal. I often say the doctors heal the body and at Epic Experience we heal the soul and the spirit. My hope over the next 5-10 years is that cancer survivors and thrivers have survivorship become more a part of their initial care within their doctors’ offices. We hope that includes sharing our mission and services with their patients.

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