Meagan Finnerty didn't let tragedy stand in her way. After she and her family lost their mother, she set out to find more families like hers. She discovered the Colon Cancer Alliance, and has become a vocal advocate and fundraiser for colon cancer awareness. Since 2014, Meagan and her family's efforts have raised $10,500 to support our mission. We salute the Finnerty family and honor them as our Hero of the Month.
My name is Meagan Finnerty and I live in Levittown on Long Island in New York. I am in my seventh year as a music teacher here. I have three younger siblings, Kaylyn, Jimmy and Jillian, and a pit bull named Blue. I love them all very much.
I was inspired to get involved in colon cancer awareness after a very unfortunate event. My mother, Donna Finnerty, was taken from us because of colon cancer. She was diagnosed with stage four in 2002 at the age of 41. My youngest sister Jillian was only six years old at the time. After a long, grueling battle, my mother passed away at the age of 48 in February of 2010.
Some years later, after doing some research about colon cancer, I came across the Colon Cancer Alliance webpage. I then realized that in order for an organization like this to exist, there must be many other families like mine. We always hear about lung cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. I wanted to be part of the fight that brings awareness of colon cancer to people's minds like these other terrible diseases.
The name "Support the Hiney" came from my mom's embarrassing use of the word "hiney" ALL the time. I remember being in grade school and she would use it in front of me and my siblings friends instead of the word "butt" (which we thought was a way cooler word) and we would always blush. Now, we all use that word, and we wanted to incorporate it into our fundraising event's name.
The event is a basket auction held at a catering hall here on Long Island. We also do blue star temporary tattoos, blue hair feathers, "I Like my Hiney" underwear (which are really cute by the way,) and a 50/50 wile enjoying some dinner and dancing! We also have a "Pinterest" cork board where we post pictures or quotes from our mom, and welcome others posts and pictures from friends and family that have been affected by colon cancer. It's truly amazing how many people are willing to donate. Every year we get tickets and memorabilia from the New York Yankees, Mets, Knicks, lots of restaurants, shops, salons, grocery stores, and more.
There are so many ways to get involved. If it is something you really believe in, you will find a way. I started just by reaching out to Ali Ornitz at Colon Cancer Alliance. Ali set me up with a Blue Star Tribute, and the rest is history.
The smallest, simplest thing we can call do is start the conversation. Wear blue! Put a blue star on your car! Get people to ask why, then tell them. Encourage everyone to get tested. Colon cancer can be manageable if caught early, but most people don't know it's something to be concerned about because we don't hear about it in the news and media or amongst each other. Let's change that together.
"Support the Hiney" is being held at the Massapequa Elk's Lodge on Long Island from 6-10PM on March 12th. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for questions on how to get involved and more information!