First and foremost: the amazing Mark MK‘s single, “PYB (Protect Ya Butt)” is NOW AVAILABLE for download on iTunes, Amazon, Tidal, you name it! A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Colon Cancer Foundation. So if you missed Mark’s incredible performance in Central Park today, or if you were there and want to listen to this catchy song on repeat like my kids and I did tonight, download it on your favorite service now. Like, right now.

So. Today is March 1. The start of Colon Cancer Awareness Month. And we happen to have an event lineup that is our most exciting ever, thanks to our Protect Your Butt campaign. To kick things off (and kick colon cancer in the butt), today we hosted The World’s Largest Booty Shake – featuring Mark MK – in Central Park. Mother Nature decided to toy with us and throw a torrential downpour our way, but our devoted crowd braved the rain, which turned to drizzle, which then cleared up. And by the time Mark MK finished his set, the sun was out. A sign of a ground-breaking, cloud-clearing, life-changing month ahead!

We are so grateful to have had amazing sponsors for the Booty Shake: our presenting sponsor, Mount Sinai Hospital; Bracco Diagnostics; and Epigenomics and the Epi proColon. This event would not have gotten off the ground without their support, and would not have been the hit that it was without their dance skills (we’re looking at you, David Greenwald). Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to support us today!

And a huge, epic thank you to Mark ‘MK’ McLaughlin and DJ Theo, their incredible band, production team, and indefatigable dancers! The amount of effort that all of these people are putting into this cause is just beyond what we ever could have imagined.

My dinky iPhone photos do not do this event justice, but I couldn’t help but share a few of my favorites from the day. Official photo gallery coming soon!

Warming up…

The shirt says it all.

Mark MK rocking the Central Park bandshell


Before you feast your eyes on the photos from our fantastic Colon Cancer Challenge Kickoff event – which featured Mark MK‘s awesome debut performance of “PYB (Protect Ya Butt)” – a friendly reminder that TOMORROW, MARCH 1 IS THE WORLD’S LARGEST BOOTY SHAKE! Central Park. Noon. Be there. It will be an event for the ages and we are going to make a huge splash (perhaps literally) in the fight against colon cancer. There is NO better way to kick off Colon Cancer Awareness Month than by shaking your butt in a Guinness Record-setting crowd while enjoying the incredible music of Mark MK. So please join us and bring your family, colleagues, and friends!

And now back to our regularly scheduled post. Our Colon Cancer Challenge Kickoff event took place on February 16 at the beautiful offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP on Fifth Avenue. The event featured an awards ceremony; inspiring talks from our own Dr. Thomas Weber and other colon cancer advocates; a colorful presentation on the Protect Your Butt campaign; and, for the grand finale, Mark MK singing “PYB (Protect Ya Butt)”. By evening’s end, attendees were snapping belfies like crazy!

The 14th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge will comprise two events this year. On April 2, join us on Randall’s Island. On April 30, head up to beautiful Westchester County and hang with us at Manhattanville College. For more details, click here.

Timing is everything. When we first started planning The World’s Largest Booty Shake to promote the Protect Your Butt campaign, we imagined some loudspeakers blasting music we have all heard before. Then, one day last December, the phone rang. Mark ‘MK’ McLaughlin was on the line. And everything changed.

Mark ‘MK’ McLaughlin

Mark MK, a native New Yorker, is an R&B star who has opened for John Legend, Flo Rida (with the help of DJ Kronik), and performed at BB King’s with Rahsaan Patterson. He recently collaborated with Shaggy on a single that will soon be released nationally. He is kind of a big deal.

So why did he call us? Mark’s brother, Joseph Giddings, passed away from colon cancer in 2014 at the age of 52. Joseph, a father of five, enjoyed DJing parties and family events. Mark credits Joseph with inspiring him to become a DJ and then a singer and songwriter. So Mark reached out to us and asked us how he could help. And boy did we have an answer!

Fast-forward a few months and we are now less than a week away from The World’s Largest Booty Shake, at which Mark MK will be performing “PYB (Protect Ya Butt)” – the theme song of our campaign which he wrote just for us! We could not be more grateful for the fortuitous timing of his phone call, and for his incredible contribution to this event and this cause.

Mark took some time out of his jam-packed schedule to tell us more about why he decided to become an advocate for colon cancer, and what he hopes the impact of “PYB (Protect Ya Butt)” will be.

We are so grateful that you found our organization. Tell us about your decision to become an advocate for colon cancer awareness. 
Being that I’m a singer and a performer and my brother was a DJ, I felt like it was only right moving forward, from here on, to represent his name and get more involved in the cause. We’ve all heard of colon cancer before, but it’s a sad thing to wait for something bad to happen to someone close to get involved. I wish I had known about this sooner. What prompted me to call the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation was that I felt the need to get involved. I want other people to have that chance to get themselves screened. My mom is a missionary and she always preached. I have it in me, instilled in me, to make people aware of great things like what the Foundation is doing. I Googled colon cancer and was very impressed from what I saw on your website. Everything is happening right on track. This is the perfect time. I will be out there touring and spreading the message of colon cancer awareness.

What do you hope the impact of this campaign and your song will be?
I’m hoping it will get the younger demographic involved. Get them tested earlier so they have a chance to get healthy, God forbid they do have colon cancer. Music is the vehicle of many things. I hope this song can increase screening numbers by far.

You will be performing your song LIVE in Central Park for The World’s Largest Booty Shake, to promote the Protect Your Butt campaign and kick off Colon Cancer Awareness Month. What does this opportunity mean to you?
It means so much to me. It’s one thing to touch people with music, it’s another thing to touch people with a message. And to know that something you’re doing can go towards saving lives. Or at least give some healing to those who have lost lives. Give them some enjoyment, a reason to smile through the sadness.

Will “PYB (Protect Ya Butt)” be available to download?
Yes. The song will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon and other services and part of the proceeds will go towards colon cancer research.

What’s next for Mark MK?
I’m working on releasing an album called “The Big Show.” I definitely want to be more involved and include the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation in everything I do as I move forward in my career, continuing my work as an advocate for colon cancer research and prevention.

The Colon Cancer Foundation is so fortunate to have the support of fantastic, generous sponsors for our Protect Your Butt campaign and The World’s Largest Booty Shake.  Today we introduce you to Epigenomics and the Epi proColon®.  David Bull, Director of Marketing, took some time out of his busy day to answer a few questions for us.

Tell us a little bit about Epigenomics and Epi proColon®.

Epigenomics is a molecular diagnostics company focused on blood-based detection of cancers using its proprietary DNA methylation technology.  Epigenomics develops and commercializes blood tests across multiple cancer indications with high medical need.  The two current products are Epi proColon® and Epi proLung®.

Epi proColon®, is the ONLY FDA-approved blood test for colon cancer screening.  Epi proColon® is intended for those people who have been avoiding screening.  A blood test is a patient-accepted screening method that avoids the time commitment and prep of a colonoscopy and the ‘ick’ factor of take home stool tests.

 How does the Epi proColon® test work?

Normal colorectal tissue and colorectal cancer tissue differ on a molecular level.  The test reliably detects a biomarker that is associated with colorectal cancer (methylated Septin9) in a routineblood draw.  A positive test result indicates that there is an increased likelihood for the presence of colorectal cancer and the patient should get a colonoscopy.  A negative test result indicates no increased likelihood for the presence of colorectal cancer. Epi proColon® is available through national and regional reference labs.  Go to for more information.

Epi proColon® is a sponsor of our Protect Your Butt campaign and The World’s Largest Booty Shake. Thank you for that! Can you tell us why this campaign stands out to you and why it is important for Epigenomics to be involved?

Colon cancer screening saves lives.  Yet 1 in 3 or 23 Americans avoid colorectal cancer screening.  The Protect Your Butt campaign fosters the discussion that screening will lead to early detection of cancer as well as prevention by the identification and removal of precancerous polyps.  People need to get screened – people need to discuss colon cancer with their friends and family.  And, we are hopeful that the Protect Your Butt community will become aware there is now a blood test for colon cancer screening.

Most importantly, will you and your colleagues be shaking your booties with us on March 1?

Absolutely – in the US and at the headquarters in Germany.

Thank you for your time, David.  And thanks to Epigenomics for the generous support!

JOIN US for The World’s Largest Booty Shake!

12pm, Wednesday March 1

Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park, NYC


Next up on the docket for Colon Cancer Awareness Month (after The World’s Largest Booty Shake of course!) is our third annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Symposium on Sunday, March 12. This singular event brings together leading physicians and researchers with survivors and caregivers in a uniquely interactive one-day course designed to address the breadth of issues facing young adult colorectal cancer patients and their families.

Phew! But seriously.

Whatever your connection to this disease, we as advocates have a responsibility to educate ourselves about the alarming increase in early age onset colorectal cancer and to spread awareness of this terrible – but reversible – trend. This Symposium will educate, motivate, and empower its attendees – and we hope you will join us.

We are honored this year to once again have the sponsorship support of Michael’s Mission, an incredible organization that is focused on improving the quality of life and treatment options for those suffering from colorectal cancer through education, research and patient support. This year’s Symposium – for the first time – is free to all attendees thanks to our generous host, the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center.

So, come for the free food, tchotchkes, and cheeky step and repeat complete with photo props. Stay for the critical stuff:

1. Up-to-the-minute content

The world of colorectal cancer treatment and prevention is ever-evolving. So too are the innovative ideas and technical tools to support those who are battling the disease. This symposium features the latest advances in all aspects of early age onset colorectal cancer care and survivorship.

2. Top-notch participants

Not to humble-brag, but you will be hearing from those at the tippity-top of this field. This Symposium is a one-day master class in medicine, research, and every other aspect of the EAO-CRC landscape. Nothing inspires hope like hearing from those at the forefront of this critical fight…

3. Ground-breaking collaboration and genuine interactivity

… and having the opportunity to speak directly to and work collaboratively with these brilliant minds. After all, we are all stronger together.

To learn more and register, click here.

To see presentations and stories from last year’s Symposium, click here.

Scenes from our 2016 Symposium: step and repeat!

Wasn’t kidding about the photo props

Great minds advocate alike


We may still have several inches of snow on the ground, but spring is right around the corner – and so is Colon Cancer Awareness Month! This March promises to be the most exciting yet. With the launch of our Protect Your Butt campaign, we plan to add some much-needed humor and sass to this critical awareness-raising time of the year. So think warm thoughts, flip your calendar to March and make a note to join us on Wednesday, March 1 for our first event: 

The World’s Largest Booty Shake!

Yes, we’re talking Guiness Record-setting booty shaking here, folks. Imagine thousands of people gathered at the Naumberg Bandshell in Central Park in New York City, shaking their butts to some classic tunes. The World’s Largest Booty Shake will be an exciting way to kick off Colon Cancer Awareness Month – and help us spread the word about our Protect Your Butt campaign.

The Booty Shake is at 12pm on March 1 at the Naumberg Bandshell, located on the Mall in Central Park just off Terrace Drive around 72nd Street.

This event is free of charge, and a great way to spend a lunch hour. Bring your friends, family, kids, colleagues! And don’t forget to wear blue!

We are so grateful to have amazing sponsors for this event: Mount Sinai Hospital, Epigenomics and Bracco Diagnostics. And we are grateful for everyone who will join us for this awareness-raiser! See you there!



The United Airlines NYC Half Marathon is about six weeks away. If you are a runner of any level, there is still time to join Team Colon Cancer Challenge and train to conquer this amazing half marathon course. So, in a final plea to help fill our remaining spots, read on for 13.1 reasons to take on this 13.1-mile challenge!

  1. It’s in the name: NYC. There is simply no other city like it, and no other race course like this one. When else in your life will you ever be able to run through Times Square being cheered on like a celebrity? NYC rocks. And this race rocks NYC.

    Look! There you are running through Times Square!

    Look! There you are running through Times Square!

  2. Speaking of “number two” – no, not that number two! – colon cancer is still the number two deadliest cancer in this country. But this disease is also preventable, treatable, and beatable. Join us and help spread that message to the tens of thousands of runners and spectators you will encounter on race day!
  3. This race is in March. March is also Colon Cancer Awareness Month. So, hello, help us spread colon cancer awareness during Colon Cancer Awareness Month! How’s that for synergy?
  4. Like swag? This race has great swag! You’ll get a dry fit shirt (plus a team shirt from us!)…
  5. … a super cool medal…
  6. … and a heat sheet. Which means you will look like a badass when you finish. You will BE a badass when you finish!

    This is me at last year's race. Bad. Ass.

    This is me at last year’s race. Bad. Ass.

  7. Runners take better #BELFIES.
  8. A half marathon is a whole, awesome accomplishment. Seriously. How many people do you know who’ve run 13.1 miles? Go for it!
  9. Running a half marathon for a charity is a win-win. You’re doing something great for yourself AND others. Woohoo!
  10. We may be biased, but running for our charity is a winwinwinwinwinwinwin.
  11. Your participation truly means so much to us. With the launch of our Protect Your Butt campaign, we are poised to reach – and help – millions of people. But we can’t do it without proper funding. We depend on you, and we need your help (and your friends’ and families’ moolah).
  12. This race is an opportunity to embrace your inner voyeur and peer into the windows of fancy apartments on the West Side Highway at a slower pace than in a car – or is that just me? Have I said too much?

And finally, reason 13.1: Bragging rights. Not just that you ran this race, but that you ran it with us. You chose to make a difference in the lives of those fighting colorectal cancer, honor those who have won their battle against this disease, and inform everyone else. Because this disease should be on everyone’s radar.

After all, #Belfies can only get us so far!

Seize the moment. Click here to register for Team Colon Cancer Challenge today.

We are still looking to fill a few more spots on Team Colon Cancer Challenge for the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon on Sunday, March 19. A half marathon is a huge achievement, and while it may be daunting to think about running 13.1 miles through Manhattan, this race is so exciting and entertaining the time (and miles) fly by! So if you’re on the fence about whether or not to join us, know that you will not be alone in your apprehension. And you will have a memorable, awesome experience. So go for it!

Our team is comprised of both veteran and novice runners. Today, we introduce you to Dr. Matthew Morrison. Matt has somehow found the time to start running despite working as an ER doctor and we are so grateful that he’s joined us!

Dr. Matthew Morrison and his grandmother Nancy

Dr. Matthew Morrison and his grandmother Nancy

“My name is Matt Morrison, and I am an Emergency Medicine doctor in New York; I’m 32, and have been running for a year. As a new runner, my attitude towards a Half-Marathon is best described as Abject Terror, but I have been told it is a manageable goal (and emotion). I am running the NYC Half in honor of my grandmothers, Nancy LoBue and Jean Morrison, both of whom passed from colon cancer.”

Matt’s story reminds us of the critical importance of knowing your family health history. While age 50 is the recommended age to begin regular colon cancer screening with no family history of the disease, those with a family history must be screened earlier. We also know that the rate of early age onset colorectal cancer (in those under age 50) is rapidly increasing every year. And we are not afraid to talk about it.

Our new Protect Your Butt campaign is going to help us spread this message: get smart and get screened. Know your family history. Know your recommended screening age. Know the signs and symptoms. And don’t be afraid to talk about it – to your family, and to your doctor.

Click here to support Matt’s fundraising, and click here to learn more about Protect Your Butt!

The United Airlines NYC Half Marathon is right around the corner, and the intrepid souls who dare to brave winter weather are in the midst of training to conquer 13.1 miles on Sunday, March 19.

This awesome race will take our team and tens of thousands of other runners around Central Park, through Times Square, down the West Side Highway, to the finish line on Wall Street. Does this course sound good to you? We still have a lucky few spots left on our team! Please click here for more info and to submit an application today!

We are amassing a fantastic, diverse team of runners and we are excited to share some of their stories here on our blog. For the first time ever, we have three sisters who will be running together. Ashley and her twin sisters Lesley and Lindsey Hays will be traveling from Florida (now that’s the place to be training!) to run with Team Colon Cancer Challenge.

The Hays Sisters

The Hays Sisters

“We are participating in the Colon Cancer Challenge in memory and honor of friends and family that have fought this disease. We are fortunate some have won the battle, but unfortunately we have had to mourn the ones that lost. We decided to join the Colon Cancer Challenge to raise awareness of this disease to promote screening and early detection. We are most looking forward to raising awareness of this disease, remembering our loved ones that fought and making our own NYC memories that we will have forever!”

While the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation is based in New York, we are thrilled that these races help us draw together a team from all over the country and the world. After all, colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer in this country and others, so our message of awareness and prevention is one we need to spread far and wide.

When you join Team Colon Cancer Challenge, you are helping us spread that message by raising much-needed funds. But you are doing more. You are pounding the pavement of NYC, passing thousands of spectators, wearing your bold blue shirt with our Foundation’s name emblazoned across it. And you are taking our name and our mission back to your friends, family, and community. That is something to which you cannot attach a dollar amount. We are very grateful for each and every team member and look forward to connecting with more of our United Airlines NYC Half runners!

It’s a new year, and we are thrilled to announce the roll-out of our Protect Your Butt campaign! You’ll be hearing more details about this ground-breaking, far-reaching, butt-kicking campaign in the coming weeks. (And yes, you will understand what is up with those fuzzy butts in headsets!)

Coming soon to a phone near you!

Coming soon to a phone near you!

Right now, we’d like you to take a moment to take out your smartphone. Open the camera. And snap a selfie of your butt.

Yes, you read that right. We are bringing the BELFIE (that’s butt-selfie, folks) to social media in an effort to add some eye-catching humor to this campaign and this cause. We firmly believe NOW is the time to conquer the stigma attached to colon cancer – and the way to break it down will be through conversation, creativity, and humor. BELFIES will get people laughing and talking, and the more people we get laughing and talking about the funny stuff, the easier it will be to talk about the serious stuff.

The BELFIE: not just for Kardashians anymore!

The BELFIE: not just for Kardashians anymore!

Yes, that is my butt. And my kids’ butts. I am putting our butts out there for this cause and I hope you will too!

Feeling self-conscious about sharing a picture of your butt with the world? THAT’S THE POINT. Talking about colorectal cancer takes us out of our comfort zone, too. But it’s really, really important. And the more we can talk about it, the less uncomfortable we will feel. This awesome and hilarious campaign is going to help get us there. But we can’t do it without you (and your butt).

There is also a fundraising aspect to this initiative. Because our Protect Your Butt campaign is the most ambitious we’ve ever undertaken (we’re talking reaching hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people), we need to raise money to make it happen. So we’ve set up a BELFIE fundraiser on Crowdrise – and a good old-fashioned competition to go along with it!

Introducing The BELFIE Challenge: once you upload your BELFIE, challenge your friends and family to vote for you and upload their own! Send emails, post to social media. We want to see who can raise the most money by posting their BELFIE to our site. Every $5 donation is a vote for a BELFIE, and there will be a prize for our top BELFIE!

So, here’s what you can do to join the Protect Your Butt campaign and maximize the impact of your BELFIE:

  1. Snap your (PG-rated, please) BELFIE and upload to our BELFIE Crowdrise page;
  2. From your Crowdrise fundraiser page, share your fundraiser on Facebook and Twitter with friends and family, encouraging them to vote (i.e. donate) for you and/or upload their own BELFIE; and
  3. Share your BELFIE on our Protect Your Butt Facebook page (and please “Like” this page while you’re at it) – we hope to gather a gallery of BELFIES, to show the world that we are kicking butt and no one should be afraid to talk about colorectal cancer!

Remember, every butt counts.