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Atlanta Attorney Brings Attention to Early, Onset Colorectal Cancer at the 2017 Atlanta Undy Run/Walk

October 20, 2017 (Atlanta, GA) – Young adults are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at an alarming rate. However, the standard age to begin screening for colorectal cancer is 50. Atlanta attorney Tawny Mack was a 21 year old college student when she first started experiencing colorectal cancer symptoms. Mack is running in the 2017 Atlanta Undy Run/Walk on Oct. 28 at John Howell Park to raise awareness about the impact of colorectal cancer on young adults.

“My late-stage colorectal cancer diagnosis makes me feel as though cancer is constantly chasing me, so I run. My participation in the Undy, however, isn’t for me — it’s for others,” says Mack.

Due to her age, colorectal cancer wasn’t on the radar. She was first diagnosed with hemorrhoids and, then ulcerative colitis.

“I was never comfortable with the fact that doctors never gave me a reasonable explanation for what I was experiencing,” says Mack.

A few years after graduating from the University of Georgia School of Law, Mack was attending a health and wellness presentation at her new firm when she started to seriously consider that colorectal cancer could be the cause for her symptoms. After scheduling a colonoscopy, Mack was diagnosed with stage 3c colorectal cancer at the age of 30.

As she was recovering from surgery, Mack spent some time researching colorectal cancer which is when she discovered the Colon Cancer Alliance and it’s Undy Run/Walk event in Atlanta. The Undy Run/Walk is a lighthearted attempt to get the much-needed conversation started about colorectal cancer. Participants wear fun costumes and receive boxers instead of the usual t-shirt.  In addition to raising awareness, the Colon Cancer Alliance partners locally with the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute. Funds raised from the Undy Run/Walk support the Northside’s Colorectal Cancer Transportation Assistance Program.

“More cases of cancer are diagnosed and treated at the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute than at any community hospital in Georgia. Northside is honored to partner with the Colon Cancer Alliance and the Undy Run/Walk, once again, and we share their commitment to knock out colorectal cancer once and for all.” Patti Owen Oncology Director, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute.

Mack participated in her first Undy Run/Walk event last year and is excited to return to the 2017 Atlanta Undy Run/Walk with her Team “Save Watcha Mama Gave Ya!”  After undergoing multiple abdominal surgeries, Mack is planning to beat her personal best.

“I’m terrified of heights, but I will climb to tallest building in the world and scream about this disease if it will help prevent it,” says Mack.

In 2017, approximately 135,430  Americans are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and approximately 50,260 are expected to die from the disease. In Georgia alone, there are expected to be 4,040 diagnoses and 1,540 deaths this year. If detected early enough, colorectal cancer is highly treatable.

The 2017 Atlanta Undy Run/Walk is October 28 at John Howell Park in Atlanta. Onsite registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and the 5K begins at 9:00 a.m. For more information or to register, visit www.undyrunwalk.org, and click on Atlanta, GA. The 2017 Atlanta Undy Run/Walk is sponsored in part by: Northside Hospital Cancer Institute and Clinical Genomics.

 

Registration fees:

5K Adult (14 and older) – $35 Advance/$40 Race Day
5K Youth (6-13) – $30 Advance/$35 Race Day
1 Mile Fun Run (all ages, Children 5 and younger are free) – $30 Advance/$35 Race Day

 

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About the Colon Cancer Alliance

The Colon Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colon cancer within our lifetime. Working with our nation of passionate advocates, we are empowered to support the needs of patients and survivors, eager to raise awareness of preventative screening, and poised to help fund critical research. We are fiercely determined to end colon cancer once and for all. www.ccalliance.org

 

Two Clevelanders Diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer in their Mid-Twenties Prepare for the 2017 Cleveland Undy Run/Walk

Cleveland, OH (Sept. 8, 2017) – Cleveland residents Darcy Egan and Eric Lucas have two things in common: they were both in their mid-twenties when they were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and they are both determined to spread the word about what was once considered an “old man’s disease.” They have each formed teams that will be participating in Colon Cancer Alliance’s 2017 Cleveland Undy Run/Walk on Sept. 30 at The Flats at East Bank.

“I had been having colorectal problems when I was in college, so I went to see a doctor. The doctor thought I was too young for it to be serious, but it didn’t go away,” said Lucas. “When I found out about the diagnosis, I was confused about why no one would have taken the initiative to investigate and be proactive.”

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, colorectal cancers are on the rise in adults under the age of 55. However, the recommended age to begin screening for colorectal cancer is 50, unless you have a family history. With no family history of colorectal cancer, the potential for diagnosis flew under the radar for both Lucas and Egan.

Egan, who is physically active, went to the doctor for a routine check-up. During that check-up, her primary care physician recommended that she see a gastroenterologist who would later perform her colonoscopy.

“This was my first time hearing about familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), the disease that led to my colorectal cancer diagnosis. I had no symptoms. I was a little pale, so initially the doctors thought that I might’ve been anemic,” said Egan.

Although the two have yet to meet, they’re both patients at Cleveland Clinic, which is a leader in colorectal cancer treatment and research. Cleveland Clinic is a long-time sponsor of the Undy Run/Walk, an event that draws hundreds of participants each year, the majority of whom have a connection to colorectal cancer.

Every year, participants hit the trails in fun outfits in a show of solidarity and support for colorectal cancer patients, survivors and their families. Funds raised from the Cleveland Undy Run/Walk go toward supporting the mission of the Colon Cancer Alliance whose goal is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research and providing the highest quality patient support services.

“Colorectal cancer is both preventable and curable with the appropriate screening and interventions. We are dedicated to raising awareness and starting conversations about this disease with the ultimate goal of saving lives. The last two years of this race in Cleveland have been amazing. It is incredible to see so many people participate and support the cause in what is a very fun event. It is also important to note that a portion of the funds raised stay right here in Cleveland for the benefit of our community,” said Matthew Kalady, M.D., director of The Sanford R. Weiss, MD, Center for Hereditary Colorectal Neoplasia and co-director of the Colorectal Cancer Program at Cleveland Clinic.

For his first Undy Run, Lucas formed a team called “the Crimson Butts,” a fun ode to the time he spent undergoing radiation treatment. Egan and her team, “Darcy and the Polyps,” will be participating for the second year in a row with the goal of beating her record from last year. At the 2016 Cleveland Undy Run/Walk, she raised $9,000 with a team of 120 people.

“We try to make it as lighthearted as possible. I hope the fun element makes it easier for people to talk about it,” says Egan. “Whether you think you’re in perfect health or not, make sure you pursue these symptoms.”

In the state of Ohio, 5,450 residents are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 2,140 residents are expected to pass away as a result of colorectal cancer. However, colorectal cancer is highly treatable, if detected early.

To join Eric Lucas and Darcy Egan at the 2017 Cleveland Undy Run/Walk, please visit the Cleveland Undy Run/Walk page to register and form your own team.

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About the Colon Cancer Alliance

The Colon Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colon cancer within our lifetime. Working with our nation of passionate advocates, we are empowered to support the needs of patients and survivors, eager to raise awareness of preventative screening, and poised to help fund critical research. We are fiercely determined to end colon cancer once and for all. www.ccalliance.org

 

Small Town, Big Bond

Onalaska Woman Finds Support through Online Colorectal Cancer Communities

Tacoma, WA (July 31) – Cancer support networks are imperative when experiencing an illness as frightening as colon cancer. Tacoma native, Janna Parkhurst, knows this too well

Her young sons enthusiastically took on the lion’s share of the chores: cooking, laundry and even painting her nails as she underwent treatment.  While people were shopping for presents and preparing for a long holiday week, Parkhurst’s family was learning how colostomy bags worked during the 2015 holiday season. She jokingly named her colostomy bag, “Betty.” The family quickly caught on and gave “Betty” her own stocking at Christmas time.

Searching for more information about colon cancer and looking for help with her ostomy bag, she came across the Colon Cancer Alliance and their online support community, Blue Hope Nation. The Blue Hope Nation, gave her new hope and a sense of camaraderie through her journey.

“It’s not one of the most talked about cancers, so when I found the Colon Cancer Alliance, I thought this is the place to be and find things out,” thought Parkhurst.

She also found out about the Colon Cancer Alliance’s annual Undy Run/Walk online.  From the moment she saw it, she just knew she had to do it. The Undy Run/Walk is where hundreds of people gather together and hit the trails, rocking underwear-themed costumes to raise money and awareness for colon cancer prevention while honoring those living with the disease and those gone too soon.  Parkhurst is leading the charge in garnering her family and friends to participate in the annual Tacoma Undy Run/Walk coming up on August 19th at Wright Park.

“It is so much fun and there is so much support. And everybody has the greatest attitude. I really felt like I belonged,” said Parkhurst as she eagerly prepares for Tacoma.

This year 95,520 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer and 50,260 will die from this disease. In Washington, 2,720 of the state’s residents have been diagnosed and 970 people have died as a result of colon cancer.  The Colon Cancer Alliance is dedicated to doubling the number of patients and families served, investing $10 million in research and saving over 100,000 lives through increased screening over the next five years.

“Our support networks, Blue Hope Nation and the Undy Run/Walk series, are the fabric of the Colon Cancer Alliance’s mission. We are committed to letting our survivors and caregivers know that they are not alone,” says Colon Cancer Alliance CEO, Michael Sapienza.

Parkhurst was eventually declared free of colon cancer in February 2017, but dedicates her time to the colon cancer community.

“[Colon cancer patients and survivors] are never alone. There is always someone with them. There is always someone to pray with them and for them. They don’t have to be embarrassed,” says Parkhurst.

To register for the 2017 Tacoma Undy Run/Walk coming up soon this August 19 at Wright Park or to learn how to put together a team, please visit www.undyrunwalk.org. The 2017 Tacoma Undy Run/Walk is sponsored in part by Digestive Health Specialists and MultiCare Health System.

To learn more about the largest online support network for the colorectal cancer community, join Blue Hope Nation or call the helpline 877.422.2030 led by certified patient navigators.

 

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About the Colon Cancer Alliance
The Colon Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colon cancer within our lifetime. Working with our nation of passionate advocates, we are empowered to support the needs of patients and survivors, eager to raise awareness of preventative screening, and poised to help fund critical research. We are fiercely determined to end colon cancer once and for all. www.ccalliance.org

Unexpected Diagnosis Leads to Lifetime Partnership with the Leading Colorectal Cancer Organization

Long Branch, NJ (June 21) – “I didn’t expect to have cancer. I didn’t have any symptoms,” says Michele Battista, Jersey Shore Undy Run/Walk volunteer and fierce colon cancer advocate. This year marks Battista’s five-year “Cancer-versary,” as she calls the day when she was diagnosed with cancer. Checking off her list of things to do once she turned 50, she made an appointment with Red Bank Gastroenterology for a routine colonoscopy. It was during that appointment, she was diagnosed with stage 3c colon cancer at the age of 50.

“It’s bittersweet. Today seems so far away from when I first heard the words ‘you have cancer’, five years ago,” says Battista as she reflects on her Cancer-versary. She is now cancer-free and continually advocating for colon cancer patients and survivors through her work with Colon Cancer Alliance, an organization dedicated to knocking colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research and providing the highest quality patient support services.

She found out about Colon Cancer Alliance’s annual Jersey Shore Undy Run/Walk from a flyer hanging up in the Red Bank Gastroenterology’s office while supporting a family member during their colonoscopy. The Jersey Shore Undy Run/Walk takes a light-hearted approach to a serious and often times frightening subject. Participants sport silly, underwear-themed costumes in show of support for colon cancer patients, caregivers and families. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, July 15th at the Great Lawn at Pier Village in Long Branch, New Jersey.

Too ill to walk or volunteer in the Undy after initially hearing about it, she signed up the following year. She has returned every year for the last five years, managing to walk in the event, in spite of neuropathy in her feet as a result of chemotherapy which makes it difficult to run, walk or stand for long periods of time. In 2016, she took 3rd place in the Female Survivor category at 56 minutes.

“We are empowered by the strength and resilience of our community of survivors and caregivers. They are the heartbeat of this organization. With their assistance and dedication, the Undy Run/Walk series has become an amazing source of support and we are able to leave a footprint in each community we serve,” says Michael Sapienza, Colon Cancer Alliance CEO. Any day of the week, Battista can be found rocking various shades of blue encouraging everyone around her to get their colonoscopies. “The colonoscopy is the easy part, the surgery and chemo are the hard part,” says Battista.

In 2017, approximately 95,520 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer, and approximately 50,260 will die from the disease. In New Jersey alone, there have been 4,280 diagnoses & 1,510 deaths this year. If detected early enough, colon cancer is highly treatable. Although, she’s stopped counting a long time ago, Battista has inspired dozens of people to get their colonoscopies. A woman on a mission, Battista cannot be stopped. Her team, #RBGastro, will be at the Jersey Shore Undy again this year, after winning the award for largest team two years in a row.

Monies raised from the event support Colon Cancer Alliance’s local partner, Monmouth Medical Center. The award will be used to add colon cancer education to their programs to educate women over 50 and their spouses. Funds will also be used for lab and patient exam fees.

The event is sponsored by Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. For more information, please visit www.undyrunwalk.org.
Registration fees:
5K Adult (14 and older) – $35 Advance/$40 Race Day
5K Youth (6-13) – $30 Advance/$35 Race Day
1 Mile Fun Run (all ages, Children 5 and younger are free) – $30 Advance/$35 Race Day

The Undy Run/Walk is July 15 in Great Lawn at Pier Village in Long Branch. Onsite registration begins at 7:00 a.m., and the run/walk begins at 8:00 a.m. For more information or to register, visit www.undyrunwalk.org, and click on Jersey Shore, NJ.

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The Colon Cancer Alliance’s mission is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. This is accomplished by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research, and providing the highest quality patient support services. For more information, visit www.ccalliance.org.

Unexpected Diagnosis Leads to Lifetime Partnership with the Leading Colorectal Cancer Organization

Long Branch, NJ (June 21) – “I didn’t expect to have cancer. I didn’t have any symptoms,” says Michele Battista, Jersey Shore Undy Run/Walk volunteer and fierce colon cancer advocate. This year marks Battista’s five-year “Cancer-versary,” as she calls the day when she was diagnosed with cancer. Checking off her list of things to do once she turned 50, she made an appointment with Red Bank Gastroenterology for a routine colonoscopy. It was during that appointment, she was diagnosed with stage 3c colon cancer at the age of 50.

“It’s bittersweet. Today seems so far away from when I first heard the words ‘you have cancer’, five years ago,” says Battista as she reflects on her Cancer-versary. She is now cancer-free and continually advocating for colon cancer patients and survivors through her work with Colon Cancer Alliance, an organization dedicated to knocking colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research and providing the highest quality patient support services.

She found out about Colon Cancer Alliance’s annual Jersey Shore Undy Run/Walk during a doctor’s appointment from a flyer hanging up in the Red Bank Gastroenterology’s office. The Jersey Shore Undy Run/Walk takes a light-hearted approach to a serious and often times frightening subject. Participants sport silly, underwear-themed costumes in show of support for colon cancer patients, caregivers and families. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, July 15th at the Great Lawn at Pier Village in Long Branch, New Jersey.

Too ill to walk in the 5K after initially hearing about it, she signed up as a volunteer and she has returned every year for the last five years. Last year, she took 3rd place in the Female Survivor category at 56 minutes. This year she is hanging up her running shoes because of neuropathy in her feet as a result of chemotherapy which makes it difficult to run, walk or stand for long periods of time.

“We are empowered by the strength and resilience of our community of survivors and caregivers. They are the heartbeat of this organization. With their assistance and dedication, the Undy Run/Walk series has become an amazing source of support and we are able to leave a footprint in each community we serve,” says Michael Sapienza, Colon Cancer Alliance CEO.

Any day of the week, Battista can be found rocking various shades of blue encouraging everyone around her to get their colonoscopies. “The colonoscopy is the easy part, the surgery and chemo are the hard part,” says Battista.

In 2017, approximately 95,520 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer, and approximately 50,260 will die from the disease. In New Jersey alone, there have been 4,280 diagnoses & 1,510 deaths this year. If detected early enough, colon cancer is highly treatable.

Although, she’s stopped counting a long time ago, Battista has inspired dozens of people to get their colonoscopies. A woman on a mission, Battista cannot be stopped. Her team, #RBGastro, will be at the Jersey Shore Undy again this year, after winning the award for largest team two years in a row.

Monies raised from the event support Colon Cancer Alliance’s local partner, Monmouth Medical Center. The award will be used to add colon cancer education to their programs to educate women over 50 and their spouses. Funds will also be used for lab and patient exam fees.

The event is sponsored by Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. For more information, please visit www.undyrunwalk.org.

Registration fees:

5K Adult (14 and older) – $35 Advance/$40 Race Day

5K Youth (6-13) – $30 Advance/$35 Race Day

1 Mile Fun Run (all ages, Children 5 and younger are free) – $30 Advance/$35 Race Day

The Undy Run/Walk is July 15 in Great Lawn at Pier Village in Long Branch. Onsite registration begins at 7:00 a.m., and the run/walk begins at 8:00 a.m. For more information or to register, visit www.undyrunwalk.org, and click on Jersey Shore, NJ.

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The Colon Cancer Alliance’s mission is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. This is accomplished by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research, and providing the highest quality patient support services. For more information, visit www.ccalliance.org.

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