As we look to our 15th anniversary in 2014, I’m proud to reflect on the impact we’ve had. We’re at a pivotal moment in colon cancer history, and as we continue to forge ahead earnestly, I’m proud to say that we know exactly where we’re going.
We did not do this alone. We have an army of passionate and dedicated volunteers who embody hope and tenacity. We have individual and corporate donors who partner with us on our vision for a world free of colon cancer. We have national and local partners who are successfully advancing screening and survivorship. We have a committed board who stewards our respective resources with wisdom. We have a talented staff that is mission-driven and never loses sight of our goal – to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. And, how lucky are we to have celebrity ambassadors like Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard as well as living legends Alan Jackson and Richard Petty? We are leaders with a clear goal.
Our challenge going forward is clear. We need to see screening and survivorship rates for this largely preventable cancer increase. While awareness of the need for screening is at an all-time high, we’re still seeing fear related to screening and people 50 and over unscreened because their doctors aren’t recommending it. To tear down these barriers to screening, we’re launching our Screening Assistance Program and funding local screening programs. In addition, our Blue Hope Research Award enables a scientist to better identify who is at risk for developing colon cancer through biomarker research.
We know where we’re going. The heart and soul of this organization is patients and survivors. We’re dedicated to helping colon cancer warriors live their best lives with top-notch treatment, surveillance and psychosocial support teams. Through our local treatment and research partnerships, cutting-edge patient conferences, certified patient navigators and support staff, we’re making this happen. But we can’t stop here.
Let us consider what we hope to see 15 years from now – a non-invasive screening test that could detect pre-cancerous polyps that the general public embraces. Above all, we want fewer lives lost to colon cancer. Looking at what we’ve accomplished in the past 15 years, I know these advancements are possible and can’t wait to see how our community changes the face of colon cancer in coming years.
Our goal is clear. Please, join us and help us achieve it.
Jasmine Greenamyer, MPH
Chief Operating Officer