Never Too Young Advisory Board

Colorectal Cancer Alliance Launches First Never2Young Advisory Board to Address the Rise of Young Onset Colorectal Cancer

Fifty-One Percent Increase in Colorectal Cancer in Adults, Ages 20-49, Since 1994

December 4, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) – The Colorectal Cancer Alliance convened the inaugural Never2Young (N2Y) Advisory Board to address the concerns and needs of young colorectal cancer survivors, who are often overlooked due to their age because it’s typically seen in adults over 50 years old. This past weekend, more than 20 board membersall of whom are under 50 years oldconvened at Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., to strategize the best way to serve survivors and caregivers, such as:

  • Creating ageless resources to educate young people and medical professionals about this rising incidence of colorectal cancer;
  • Leveraging social media to save the lives of young people from a disease they don’t even realize they have the potential to get;
  • And developing resource guides for young onset colorectal cancer survivors and their caregivers to help them on their journey.

“Through local and national efforts we plan to raise awareness about young onset colorectal cancer and remove the stigma of colorectal cancer,” said Kim Newcomer, Never2Young program manager at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “One of the most powerful tools we have is education. We must take this message directly to young people and the medical community.”

Since 1994, diagnosis of colorectal cancer in young adults, ages 20-49, have increased by 51%, according to the National Cancer Institute. Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if detected early, but because the standard screening age is 50, young people with the disease tend to be diagnosed at later stages.

The N2Y Advisory Board provides a strong voice for the young onset colorectal cancer community by going straight to the source: All of the members have been directly impacted by colorectal cancer, either as a survivor or patient. Members flew into Washington for the meeting from across the country.

“It is important for me to be here as an advocate to bring awareness about young onset colorectal cancer and to let people know an early diagnosis is possible when you have the right information and become an advocate for your health,” said Anna Dahlgren, a N2Y Advisory Board member who was diagnosed with stage 1 colon cancer at the age of 32.

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance has also committed $3 million over the next three years to raise awareness and fund research to put an end to colorectal cancer in young adults.

For more information about the Never2Young Advisory Board and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s efforts to end young onset colorectal cancer, please visit


About the Colorectal Cancer Alliance

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer. Working with our nation of passionate allies, we diligently support the needs of patients and families, caregivers, and survivors, eagerly raise awareness of preventative screening, and continually strive to fund critical research. As allies in the struggle, we are fiercely determined   to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime. For more information, visit

Colon Cancer Alliance Launches First-Ever Chris4Life Peer-Reviewed Research Program

First Grant to Respond to the Rising Trends in Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer by Awarding Multi-Year Grant to a Qualified Researcher

Washington, DC — The Colon Cancer Alliance is pleased to launch its first-ever Chris4Life Peer-Reviewed research program. The program is titled the Chris4Life Peer Reviewed research program, named in honor of Colon Cancer Alliance’s Founder & CEO’s mother Christine Sapienza who passed away from colon cancer in 2009. Given the rising trends in young-onset colorectal cancer and the recent data released in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, which indicates that adults born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer compared with those born in 1950, this grant cycle will offer opportunities for young-onset colorectal cancer research.

“The Colon Cancer Alliance is dedicated to investing $10 million in life-saving research by 2021,” said CEO Michael Sapienza.  “Through our peer-reviewed research program, our agenda will include understanding why those under 50 are increasingly diagnosed with colorectal cancer and decreasing late-state diagnosis of high-risk populations, advancing precision medicine and immunotherapies and developing better mechanisms for pre-disease and early diagnosis of colorectal cancer. By funding research in these critical areas, we hope to be one step closer to a future free of colon cancer,” Sapienza added.  

The grant selection process will utilize a research proposal review system similar to that of the National Institutes of Health. Research proposals will be reviewed by members of a distinguished Scientific Review Panel. Members of the panel are drawn from outstanding institutions such as:

      • National Cancer Institute
      • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
      • Fox Chase Cancer Center
      • Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center
      • Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine
      • University of Colorado
      • University of South Carolina

The research proposed for funding may be basic, translational, clinical, or epidemiological in nature and should focus on changes in the microbiome and its impact in the development of young onset colorectal cancer. The underlying goal of the Colon Cancer Alliance’s research program is to provide funding for innovative projects expected to lead to future funding from other peer-reviewed sources.

A multi-year grant in the amount of $125,000 will be awarded at the end of the year, with grant terms to begin January 2, 2018.  Interested investigators can find further details at   Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM EDT, Thursday, August 31, 2017, using the Colon Cancer Alliance’s on-line application.  Additional inquires may be directed to Stephanie Guiffre at

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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.


Special thanks to Olympus, The Lyons Family and Roanne’s Race for their support of our Research program.