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The peace of mind that came with Clay Wilson’s clean colonoscopy is palpable. The 61 year old from Sarasota, Florida, didn’t have insurance, so the price tag for a colonoscopy was simply too much.

But as he and his wife near retirement, they want golden years filled with good health and spirit.

“We want quality of life while we’re here,” he says.

Through a partnership with Olympus, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance has been able to provide 50 colonoscopies in March. Clay was one of the people selected for the procedure, giving him solace in knowing his health status.

“I’m very grateful for the fact that we didn’t have to pay for that,” he says. “We just don’t have the money.”

The partnership expanded the Alliance’s screening assistance program for March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Clay’s wife had been screened by the Alliance in 2015.

“I wanted to take care of my health and I’m grateful they could do this for us,” Clay says.

According to Clay, the colonoscopy itself was “a breeze.”

“The experience was a lot better than I thought it’d be,” he says. “There was nothing to be nervous about.”

And, even better, a clean result means he doesn’t have to have another one for 10 years.

For most adults, it is recommended that colorectal cancer screening begin at age 50. Doctors can assess individual risk factors, such as ethnicity, lifestyle, and family history, to determine when a patient should start getting checked.

“Once you’re over the age of 50, you need to get it checked out--it’s very important,” Clay says. “You have to do all you can do with your health.”

Clay plans to ask his family--who typically shy away from conversations about health--including his father and brother, if they’ve had colonoscopies.

“I suspect there are a lot of folks that are afraid to go, and I bet people back out of it,” Clay says. “Have it done. There’s nothing to it.”

 

During March, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance is partnering with Olympus to schedule and screen fifty people across the nation, in an effort to save lives. In March, we observe National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Join us as we build our nation of passionate allies, fiercely determined to end this disease within our lifetime.

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