Western New York native makes colorectal cancer awareness a family affair

7th annual Buffalo Undy RunWalk benefits colorectal cancer survivors and patients

April 12, 2018 (Buffalo, NY) – Buffalo native and colorectal cancer survivor Anne Phillips knew she would beat her disease, and every year she celebrates her victory at the  Buffalo Undy RunWalk with her team, the Delehanty Panty Prancers.

The Buffalo Undy, which takes place on April 28, is a family-friendly 5K where participants don fun, underwear-themed outfits to bring attention to colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Phillips learned about the event through her sister after she was diagnosed with disease at age 46, and she’s participated for nearly seven years.

Phillips’ cancer journey began like many do. She went in for a routine physical exam, at which time her doctor had some suspicions and ordered a rectal ultrasound and a colonoscopy.

“To this day, I am thankful and blessed my doctor acted on her suspicions and ordered the testing, even though I was under 50,” Phillips said.

The standard screening age for colorectal cancer is 50; however, if you’re African American it’s 45. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you’re urged to get screened earlier. Following the colonoscopy, she underwent surgery and has been doing really well.

“I never once thought that I was going to die, I knew that I was going to be OK,” Phillips said. “I kept a positive outlook from the moment I was diagnosed.”

Phillips’ sister Janice Delehanty found an ad for the Buffalo Undy in 2011 and shared it with her while they were both at work in Delehanty’s dental office. Buffalo is their hometown and each year they return for the Buffalo Undy.

“We look forward to coming back each year and seeing the same teams, participants, survivors, sharing stories, and looking at the wild costumes,” Phillips said.“I encourage people to come walk with us. It’s a great day.”

Philips’ sister also hosts a “Blue Party” at her house every year leading up to the Buffalo Undy. The party includes an auction, and Phillips’ niece Alannah crafts trinkets like scarves, bakes cookies, makes candy, and folds origami to raise money for the Buffalo Undy. Her niece and friends even created a photo booth one year.

Funds raised at the Buffalo Undy will support the Independent Health Foundation’s “Good for the Neighborhood” program. The program provides a wide variety of health screenings, including take-home colorectal cancer testing kits to residents of western New York. Any patient who needs follow up testing will be referred for a colonoscopy or other appropriate screenings.

In 2018 alone, over 9,000 people in New York are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and nearly 3,000 will die from the this highly treatable cancer.

“My piece of advice is that there is treatment, so get screened early,” Phillips said. “If you have symptoms, don’t wait until you’re 50.”

The 2018 Buffalo Undy RunWalk is April 28 at Delaware Park, Amherst/Colvin Green Space. 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 Buffalo, NY. The 2018 Buffalo Undy RunWalk is sponsored in part by Geico and Gastroenterology Associates, LLP.

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 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 nationofallies.org.

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