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.
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
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