By Parker Lynch
Image credit: Mary Pahlke from Pixabay
Every year, The Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force holds a bike ride event called the “Rollin’ to Colon” to raise money and awareness towards colon cancer research within the state of Nebraska. This year, the 15th annual event was held on the morning of June 11th, and was open to riders of all experience levels and ages.
Ten, twenty, thirty, and 53-mile routes were available to the public as well as virtual riders, who wanted to contribute to the cause from their stationary bikes at home. Every year, all proceeds from the event go towards bringing awareness to colon cancer prevention and early detection.
Fundraising for CRC: Why is it Important?
This organization is one of many that host fantastic events to support the colorectal cancer (CRC) cause. Despite the numerous array of fundraising endeavors that already exist, more can always be done to support the continuous research and development behind CRC preventative measures as well as treatment options for patients. When someone hosts a fundraiser for CRC, they are not just making monetary contributions, they are raising awareness, and in turn, saving lives.
According to Marcline St-Germain, the operations manager for the Colon Cancer Foundation (CCF), “It’s not just about raising money. We are letting our community know about colon cancer, and that it’s not just an old man’s disease. In fact, many young people don’t know that they’re at risk themselves, and this is something that we are trying to change through fundraising events. Through these events, we’re trying to teach the community that CRC still exists, and people need to be aware of it.”
The CCF gets creative when coming up with ways to bring CRC awareness to communities all across the U.S. The Rollin’ Colon, a pink, 20-foot long inflatable tunnel, is used as a fun and educational visual that provides important health information to those who experience it. While “walking through the colon”, people are able to learn about the signs and symptoms of CRC; they will see giant polyps, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and the different stages of CRC. Organizations are able to request The Rollin’ Colon, which will then be shipped to them to have at their own events and/or fundraisers.
CCF also hosts the Colon Cancer Challenge, an annual event in March (perfectly lining up with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month). This challenge gives individuals the opportunity to run/walk a 5K or walk a mile. The funds raised through this challenge are used to support CRC prevention through various measures: supporting advocacy efforts, public awareness, research, and screening.
Whether it be on an individual or company-wide level, anyone has the opportunity to start their own fundraiser to support CCF. Regardless of whether or not one has a personal connection to the colorectal community, fundraising endeavors are vital to keeping the mission alive; they are also fun, collaborative events that bring communities and people together. These fundraisers that are held for CCF as well as the donations that individuals make (regardless of how large or small they may be), have an immense impacts on the CRC community. Not only do they support the patients and their families, but they give CCF the opportunity to continue to spread preventative awareness through educational endeavors, such as sending out The Rollin’ Colon to other events.
According to Ms. St.-Germain, “Fundraising is the backbone of our foundation. Without fundraising we wouldn’t be here.”
Donate to CCF today!
Parker Lynch is a Colorectal Cancer Prevention Intern with the Colon Cancer Foundation.