Mediaplanet: How have you been affected by colon cancer?

Terrence Howard: I became a motherless child because of colon cancer and the treatment for it. I have become bitter and angry at times, because I can't call my mommy or the one person that was always there for me no matter where life found me. To lose your mother at such a young age—who just so happened to be your biggest fan and your very best friend—feels like being abandoned in the middle of a war-torn world where everything and everyone is a threat. It's the worst pain I've ever imagined.

AFTER SHOCK: Many go about believing that conditions like colon cancer happen to other people, but there's no specific target, and even with treatment, it can still take lives, leaving pain in its wake.

MP: What did you know about colon cancer prior to your mother being diagnosed?

TH: I heard about it like everyone else heard about it: It was a name for a condition that I would never have to know. At best, that's what I thought. I was in for a rude awakening.

MP: Upon learning about your mother's condition, what initial thoughts ran through your mind and in what way did you support her?

TH: My Initial thoughts? “This is crazy. This isn't happening. We can't believe what the doctors are saying. Her health care provider doesn't cover that kind of treatment? I'll cover it.”

And I spent more than $1 million on doctors and treatments outside of her network coverage. Then I took on all of her financial responsibilities, including paying for her two young children to go to school and university, and ultimately paying for my mother's funeral.

If you haven't been checked, get tested. Relieve your loved ones of the burden of painful responsibility.