NPR executive producer of Tell Me More with Michel Martin, Teshima Walker, passed away Friday at 44 years old from colon cancer. She battled the disease for two years.

Walker was the award-winning executive producer of Tell Me More since 2011, and had worked at NPR since 2000, when she was brought on as a journalism fellow for All Things Considered. She was formerly a senior producer at Chicago Public Radio.

“Her strength, her intellect, her compassion, her voice behind the scenes of public radio will be missed,” Ray Salazar, a writer who worked with Walker on public radio, wrote on Chicago Now.

Colon cancer is a form of cancer that forms in the tissue of the colon, which is the long part of the large intestine, or the rectum. It is sometimes called colorectal cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, about 50,830 people have died from either colon or rectal cancer in 2013.

At the beginning, there may be little or no symptoms of colon cancer. Once the disease progresses, however, symptoms may include bloody stool, diarrhea or sudden weight loss. If identified early, however, it can be treated – people over age 50 or 60 are encouraged to have a colon cancer screening or colonoscopy.