CI Heroes: Local Winemaker Savoring Life, Spreading Awareness

Owner of Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Fights Colon Cancer, Encourages Screening

MACKINAW, Ill. - Colo-rectal cancer is the 3rd most commonly diagnosed form of cancer and, it's the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US.

Paul Hahn, the Co-Owner of Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, is all too familiar with the disease. Since being  diagnosed in 2012, he's making it his mission to prevent others from getting it.

It's what makes him our CI Hero.

"When you get the news that you don't have long to live um number one it's like being hit in the head with sledgehammer." Hahn said.

Four years ago, Hahn learned he had stage 4 Colo-Rectal cancer. It came as a complete shock.

"I never really thought about colon rectal cancer." Hahn said.

Hahn says the key to prevention is getting a colonoscopy starting at age 50. It's advice he says he wishes he'd taken.

"My cancer unfortunately I didn't catch it until I was 58 because that's when I first got tested. It was already stage 4 and the year after it moved into my liver and it's in my lungs now." Hahn explained.

The winemaker is now sharing a sobering message, making it his mission to make sure other people don't go through what he's gone through.

"What I'd like to say is this…if you don't want to grow old with your wife of you don't want to see your grandchildren grow up then go ahead and not get tested." Hahn said.

Just like with the wine he creates Hahn is savoring each day to the last drop and sharing his passion with his family.

"My son's doing a wonderful job as far as learning how to make the wine and grow the grapes." Hahn said.

Hahn says if he can save just one person from going through what he's gone through his fight will be worth his time.


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