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Dear ally,

Chadwick Boseman was a cultural icon and movie star. To many, he was a superhero. And last Friday evening, when news of his death from colon cancer began to spread, millions who had never heard of this disease came face-to-face with it.

On Google, “colon cancer” was searched more times than at any point on record. Cued by intense public interest, media started to report on the disease like never before. Our response was shared widely, and I completed a dozen interviews about the disease on Monday alone. 

Our messages that colorectal cancer awareness is hampered by a strong stigma, people need to talk about family history of the disease, and young people are being diagnosed at increasing rates appeared in media outlets including NewsweekUSA Today, and on the TODAY Show

However, the news cycle moves fast. Already, interest in colorectal cancer inspired by Chadwick’s passing is returning to normal levels. Undoubtedly, Chadwick’s death inspired screenings, which will save lives. But each of us has the power to make our own impact. We must keep the conversation going. 

Here’s what you can do to honor Chadwick and help fewer people experience colorectal cancer:

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance will continue our relentless work to screen, care, and cure this disease. We are taking on colorectal cancer in many ways, including: 

  • Launching a national screening public awareness campaign directed at the general public and primary care physicians with a significant focus on black and brown communities.
  • Developing the first-ever central colorectal cancer screening navigation tool that can fully integrate with health systems across the country.
  • Coordinating a significant public relations effort to get the word out about changing the screening disparities for both black and brown communities, as well as people under the age of 50.
  • Funding a health disparities research grant through the Chris4Life Research Program.

But we can’t do it alone. To end this disease in our lifetime, we need you — our nation of allies — to help. Please keep the conversation going. 

Thank you for standing by our side. We will always stand by yours. 


Michael Sapienza
CEO, Colorectal Cancer Alliance


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