Connecticut husband turns loss into mission to save others
Whether it is on the steps of the Capital building in Hartford or down in DC, Skip Burritt of Plainville, CT, is committed to fighting back against cancer. His motivation is his word to his family and the memory of Allison, his wife of 27 years.
Skip and his daughters became caregivers in 2006 when his wife underwent surgery for breast cancer. Confident they would conquer the disease, she followed up with 29 radiation treatments. As a family, they remained vigilant with self-exams and testing.
Skip took his cancer screenings seriously, too, going for routine colonoscopies as directed by the American Cancer Society guidelines. “When I came out of the anesthesia I heard the three worst words that anyone should ever hear: "You have cancer. Our family was devastated,” he said.
The Burritt’s were committed to fighting back. After they both celebrated being cancer-free, they joined the Relay For Life of Plainville, where they spoke and inspired others.
Sadly once again, within months, Allison’s cancer returned. As a family of caregivers, they continued the fight. Skip recalls the morning he was told that there was nothing more that could be done. For those who know Skip, “nothing more” was not an option. Skip recalls, “When Allison was passed on into the arms of our Lord, it was at that moment I pledged to her that I would do whatever I could to help prevent another family from going through what we had been through.”
Still faced with emptiness, Skip believes his love for Allison and his spirit to fight back drives him to make a difference. And he most certainly does. Today, Skip is an active American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Ambassador. Through public speaking appearances, legislative visits, and Relay For Life, Skip educates the community while rallying politicians at the state and Federal level to keep cancer a top priority.