Strollin’ With My Homies

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My mother, who lost her battle with colon cancer in March of 2000.

My mother, who lost her battle with colon cancer in March of 2000.

This post is going to be a little different from the usual, but it’s a very important one.  You may recall from a post I wrote last year that March is not my favorite month.  It’s the month of my mother’s birthday as well as her death. Ironically, it’s also National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the disease that took her far too soon.  This year will mark 13 years since she passed away. She was born on the 13th and it was her favorite number.  Blue was also her favorite color and it happens to be the color of the colon cancer ribbon. Where am I going with all of this?  Well, this past year I learned that several of my friends have also been touched by this disease.  So we’re on board to do something about it.

After one friend’s mom was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer this past summer another friend who has a blog over here did some research about a race called the UNDY 5000.  She wanted to bring it here but there’s a pretty hefty sponsorship commitment. So after doing a little more research she got our crew hooked up with the University of Rochester’s division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology department because they did a successful run/walk last year just outside of Rochester in Geneseo, NY.  The 5K is called Strollin’ for the Colon and it will take place on April 20.  In addition to the run/walk, there will be a chicken barbecue, live music and auction items.  But, the most exciting part of the event will be Coco the Colossal Colon ®!  Coco is a 40-foot ginormous model of the human colon and people can actually walk through it.  Coco is designed as an educational tool so people can learn about colorectal cancer and other diseases of the colon.  We’ve been having a lot of fun promoting this run with Coco and spreading the word about the importance of early screenings.  Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States and it’s one of the easiest to treat if detected early.

One of many fun campaign ideas to promote the run

One of many fun campaign ideas to promote the run

Obviously,  I would love it if as many people as possible could attend this event for a great cause. We are raising awareness about the disease and proceeds will benefit colon cancer research.  People can register to run at www.active.com.  But more importantly (because I realize people from near and far are reading this), I would love it if people would try to do one thing in their own town to help increase awareness about this disease and how treatable it is if caught in time.  Additionally, March 1 is National Dress in Blue Day in recognition of colon cancer.  So if you don something blue today you’ll already be taking a step in the right direction.

Of course, non-locals are more than welcome to donate to the cause online. The website for donations is www.gastro.urmc.edu.  Any checks should be made out to “Strollin’ for the Colon” and sent to the attention of University of Rochester’s division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at 601 Elmwood Avenue Box 646 Rochester, NY 14642. For local folks, my friend has also planned a fundraiser specifically for our friend’s mom that will take place in March. I’ll be donating this piece to the auction at that event.  More info can be found on the Strollin’ for the Colon Facebook page.  Thanks in advance for anything ‘blue’ you can do!

Block print I'll be donating to the fundraiser for our friend's mom.

Block print I’ll be donating to the fundraiser for our friend’s mom.

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5 thoughts on “Strollin’ With My Homies

  1. I had tears in my eyes reading this.What a beautiful mother, and what an awesome daughter. So glad we met. I know my sister and your mom are the most beautiful angels in heaven today dressed in blue.

  2. Sally Welka

    Thank You!! So sorry for your Loss, I too am fightin this disease, which has metastasized to my Lungs, just met Barb J. in person, (her Daughter Kristen is married to our Nephew) I Sssoo wish we could be there for either of these events, but maybe I could spear-head something out West here! I’ve just begun (or resumed) chemo again, & hope to work some too, take care, & God Bless, Sally- from Oregon

    • Hi Sally – Thank you and very sorry to hear you are also going through this. I know both Kristen & Brian (which is how I met Barb). Please do spread the word out west if you can. The more people who know that early detection helps to make this disease treatable and beatable, the better! Good luck with the chemo – don’t forget to stay hydrated and eat. My mom really struggled with the dehydration. Hang in there and keep fighting!

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