November 23, 2009
The 2nd Annual Phoenix Undy 5000
Phoenix, AZ (November 23, 2009) – Over 1,000 people turned out in their underwear to participate in the 2nd Annual Phoenix Undy 5000 5K run on November 21st in downtown Phoenix. This was not your typical 5K. Participants of the event were encouraged to run in specially made boxer-style shorts, a fun way to bring attention to a serious disease. The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA), a national patient advocacy organization dedicated to ending the suffering caused by colorectal cancer, and its local chapter, Voices of Central Arizona hosted the event.
The Undy 5000 5K run is held in different cities across the country throughout the year to educate the public about colon cancer, promote screenings, and get people talking about this deadly, but preventable, disease. The event particularly stresses the importance of timely colon cancer screening while providing valuable information for those already affected by the disease.
The event was especially meaningful for Michelle Hastings, a stage III colon cancer survivor and public relations chair of the Voices Chapter of Central Arizona. "The 2008 Undy was the first time since my diagnosis that I didn't feel alone. It was like all of these people were there for me; it made me feel like I wasn't the only person battling colon cancer. The Undy gave me hope when I needed it most," said Hastings, who was diagnosed in 2008 and was instrumental in organizing this year's run.
The Phoenix event raised over $100,000 to support and build the CCA's national and local patient support and innovative public awareness programs. A percentage of the local proceeds will provide treatment support for Arizonans diagnosed with colorectal cancer through the Fit at Fifty HealthCheck Program (FFHP). FFHP is provided through the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Sponsors of this event included Salix Pharmaceuticals, Genentech Bio-Oncology, sanofi-aventis, MITA (Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance), the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, The Comprehensive Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, The Mayo Clinic, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center, Debora J. McClary, MD and Adrienne Forstner-Barthell, MD.
More information about upcoming Undy 5000 5K runs is available online at www.undy5000.org.
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About The Colon Cancer Alliance
The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) is a national patient advocacy organization dedicated to ending the suffering caused by colorectal cancer. In order to increase rates of screening and survivorship, the CCA provides patient support, education, research and advocacy across North America.
As the Voice of Survivors, the CCA works as an advocate for colorectal cancer patients and their families. The CCA offers information and support from the first-hand experience of survivors and others whose lives have been touched by this disease.
Each year the CCA provides information and services to hundreds of thousands affected by the disease.