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With deep sadness, we remember Jake Lyons, who passed away last month at age 31. A true joy and pleasure to know, Jake touched so many with his spirit and passion for helping others.

I first met Jake as I worked with him during the Colon Cancer Alliance's 2013 holiday fundraising campaign. Jake was so excited to give back and through his battle with stage IV colon cancer, he never lost enthusiasm for life.

[caption id="attachment_1551" align="alignright" width="120"]Ali Ornitz, Senior Development Associate, Colon Cancer Alliance Ali Ornitz, Senior Development Associate, Colon Cancer Alliance[/caption]

He spoke often about how his family, friends and the Colon Cancer Alliance had been there through his courageous battle and how he would continue to fight through all adversity. Jake was passionate about sharing his story and proudly became an advocate, even speaking at his company, Olympus, to educate his colleagues. His story and warmth struck a chord with me as he made me so proud to have worked the past two years at the Colon Cancer Alliance, fighting to end colon cancer once and for all.

Through his tireless work through our volunteer program and Undy 5000 Run/Walks, Jake raised awareness and funds to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. Jake was ever the poignant survivor speaker at the 2013 Atlanta Undy 5000 and his team, Jake's Jockeys, have been represented at races in Atlanta, Washington D.C. and San Diego.

I will never forget Jake and all of the hope and determination he stood for. Our thoughts remain with the Lyons family during this difficult time.

Ali Ornitz
Senior Development Associate
Colon Cancer Alliance

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