Working Together to Increase Colon Cancer Screening in New York City

NEW YORK, May 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colon cancer is our nation's No. 2 cancer killer. While screening rates for this disease are steadily increasing across the country, more work is needed. That's why the Colon Cancer Coalition is pleased to grant AliveAndKickn, the Colon Cancer Alliance, and Michael's Mission money to fund programs that will continue to make strides in screening rates in the Big Apple. The money is available through the generosity of New Yorkers, families, survivors, teams and others who have gathered for Get Your Rear in Gear® – New York City over the past five years.

"We lost our daughter Amy in 2009. She had a larger-than-life personality and was a force to be reckoned with," remembers Kathy Covey, a driver behind Get Your Rear in Gear® – New York City. "We took Amy's spirit and channeled it into an event that will make a difference for other families. We couldn't be more proud of the efforts behind the programs and partnerships that have come out of Amy's legacy."

The latest available statistics from the New York Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition show New York City screening rates are around 69%. "In order to reach the national screening goal of 80% by 2018, we all must do things tomorrow that we aren't doing today," states Anne Carlson, executive director for the Colon Cancer Coalition. "This goal is too big for one group to reach on its own. That's why we are thrilled to partner with these incredible organizations on innovative projects that will continue to move the needle."

A total of $80,000 raised through Get Your Rear in Gear – New York City is being invested in the following programs and partnerships, reaching New Yorkers with the importance of screening for colorectal cancer in very different ways.

AliveAndKickn is working on a National Lynch Syndrome Registry with the Genetic Alliance, enabling genetic research, support for Lynch survivors and previvors, and encouraging action, awareness and education. According to the Mayo Clinic, an estimated 3 of every 100 colon cancer diagnosis are the result of Lynch Syndrome, an inherited condition that increases risks for colon and many other cancers. "The National Lynch Syndrome Registry will enable us to increase genetic research while supporting patients who live with the insecurities of this inherited risk for colon and other cancers," says David Dubin, Lynch Syndrome survivor and co-founder of AliveAndKickn. "We are thrilled to receive this grant from the Colon Cancer Coalition and partner with them on the Get Your Rear in Gear event right in our own backyard."

Colon Cancer Alliance's Now is the Time program has teamed up with the National Black Church Initiative to increase the screening rates among African Americans in New York City. Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr., a nationally recognized advocate for colon cancer prevention, serves as the Chair of the campaign. "There is a large disparity in colon cancer screening rates in the African American community and as a result, incidence rates are 20% higher than other groups," remarks Eric Hargis, CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance. "Now is the Time is a unique opportunity reach the African American community through trusted leaders and drive home the message that they should be screened at the age of 45, five years prior to the common messaging. Funding from the Colon Cancer Coalition will help us reach this community with this important information."

Michael's Mission is launching a new Medically Underserved Outreach initiative to assist medically vulnerable populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, urban poor, and the elderly. As part of the Michael's Mission Patient Support services, this initiative will increase access to colorectal cancer screening, education and treatment. "Michael's Mission calls New York City home. This funding from the Colon Cancer Coalition allows us to create a new outreach program that will reach medically vulnerable populations in our beloved city," states Martha Raymond, executive director for Michael's Mission. "We look forward to working with underserved communities in the five boroughs of New York City, and helping reduce barriers to colon cancer screening through this new patient-centric program."

With these three innovative initiatives reaching throughout New York City, and the passion of these partners, we look forward to reaching the shared 80% screening by 2018 goal together.

All three of these partners will be joining the Colon Cancer Coalition at Get Your Rear in Gear - New York City on Sunday, October 25 at Riverside Park in Manhattan. The event will begin at 8 a.m. with the Kids' Fun Run for children aged 12 and under. The 5K Run/Walk will follow at 8:30 a.m. Information about volunteering, fundraising, sponsoring the event or forming a team is available on the website.

About the Colon Cancer Coalition / Get Your Rear in Gear events

The Colon Cancer Coalition is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging screening for colorectal cancer. The organization's signature Get Your Rear in Gear events are 100% volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. Money raised in the community stays in the community to increase colon cancer awareness and screening. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of the everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit ColonCancerCoalition.org.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

CONTACT: Erin Peterson, Colon Cancer Coalition, 651-247-4023, erinpeterson@getyourrearingear.com

Source:Colon Cancer Coalition

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