Brooks Bell, a serial technology entrepreneur and colon cancer survivor, recently hosted The Colonoscopy Gala in Raleigh, North Carolina. In celebrating the humble procedure that prevents thousands of cancer diagnoses every year, The Colonoscopy Gala raised $30,000 for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s lifesaving programs to screen, care, and cure colorectal cancer.
With 150 attendees, the evening fundraiser honored 50 brave young people, known as “Bullet Dodgers,” who shared their colonoscopy stories with the public, destigmatizing the procedure and creating awareness for its preventative powers.
Brooks was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 38, despite having no family history of the disease or risk factors. Scientists are reporting a sharp rise in colorectal cancers in adults as young as their 20s and 30s.
Brooks Bell, third from front, organized The Colonoscopy Gala in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“I want to help young people become more aware of colon cancer and to understand their options on ways to protect themselves,” Brooks said. “In doing so, we need to start talking about the prevalence of precancerous polyps. We also need to reframe the conversation about colonoscopies: why they are easy, pleasant and a privilege—not a burden.”
The Colonoscopy Gala, held on February 28, was the first known event to honor colonoscopies. The event featured a 100% ass-themed silent auction with street-artist designed "ottomans" (a premium toilet stool) by TUSHY; a colonoscopy-themed, five-course dinner by Snap Pea Catering; butt portraits by The Original Butt Sketch artist Krandel Lee Newton; and professional photos sitting on a throne.
"I am thrilled with the success of The Colonoscopy Gala,” Brooks said. “We were able to create awareness around the risking risks of colorectal cancer in young people, as well as reframe the conversation around colonoscopies as a healthy, non-invasive part of a smart cancer prevention lifestyle. There are now over 150 ‘Colonoscopy Enthusiasts’ helping to spread the message in North Carolina."
Learn more about young-onset colorectal cancer here.