Biden Gives Moonshot Shout-Out to Colon Cancer

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Last week, Vice President Joe Biden presented the Cancer Moonshot Task Force Report. The Cancer Moonshot is a program launched by President Obama in his 2016 State of the Union Address with a mission “to make a decade’s worth of progress in preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer in just 5 years.” Colorectal cancer features prominently in Biden’s report, including a shout-out to the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) and American Cancer Society’s “80% by 2018” initiative.

eightyby2018_emblem-01The Cancer Moonshot is an important and exciting step in the war on cancer. As the task force report details, the goals of the Moonshot are far-reaching and ambitious, but also achievable. An unprecedented number of government agencies are working together and engaging the private sector to accomplish the following strategic goals:

  1. Catalyze new scientific breakthroughs
  2. Unleash the power of data
  3. Accelerate bringing new therapies to patients
  4. Strengthen prevention and diagnosis
  5. Improve patient access and care

In discussing goal #4, to strengthen prevention and diagnosis, the report details “longer-term projects” including “expand colorectal cancer screening efforts in the United States” and “remove barriers that limit access to colorectal cancer screening.”

The Cancer Moonshot report states that increasing access to screening is a priority and mentions 80% by 2018 as one of the screening initiatives currently supported by the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP). We are proud that our very own Dr. Thomas Weber is a current member and Chair Emeritus of the Steering Committee of the NCCRT, and we are also proud to be one of over 1,000 organizations who have partnered with the NCCRT and the American Cancer Society to help spread the word about 80% by 2018.

So what is 80% by 2018? It is a goal: to have 80% of adults aged 50 and older screened for colorectal cancer by 2018 (currently, about 1/3 of this population, or 23 million people, are not getting tested as recommended). It is also a pledge, taken by both organizations and individuals, to get smart, get screened, and help spread the word. As an organization, we have committed to help eliminate disparities in access to screening by empowering and educating our constituents via our website, outreach efforts, and Colon Cancer Challenge events. As an individual, you can make a commitment to educate yourself about when to get screened and what symptoms to look out for; to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle; and to help spread the word to your family, friends, and community. Join us!

For more information on the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot, click here; and click here to read the entire report.

Meet Our 2016 TCS NYC Marathon Team: Frank Schwall

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With just over two weeks to go until Team Colon Cancer Challenge takes to the streets of New York City, our runners are enjoying the tapering period of their training. At CCCF HQ, we are gearing up to celebrate our amazing team and cheer them on as they tackle every borough on November 6.

Another pre-marathon Friday, another inspiring story to share. Today we introduce you to Frank Schwall, a stage 3C early age onset colon cancer survivor who is running his second consecutive NYC Marathon just four years after his colon cancer diagnosis (did your jaw just drop? Because mine did!). Frank was diagnosed before the age of 50 – one person playing a part in an alarming trend that the CCCF is facing head-on with our annual Early Age Onset of Colorectal Cancer (EAO-CRC) Summit. Stay tuned for future blog posts detailing the latest updates from the front lines of EAO-CRC research!

For now, back to Frank. Here is his story.

Team Colon Cancer Challenge member and stage 3C survivor Frank Schwall

Team Colon Cancer Challenge member and stage 3C survivor Frank Schwall

I am running the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon with the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation in honor of all those battling colon cancer. My goal is to raise money for the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation which funds new, innovative and important colon cancer research projects with a focus on Early Onset colon cancer (before age 50), raises awareness and promotes colon cancer screenings.

Frank crosses the finish line in 2015

Frank crosses the finish line in 2015

I was diagnosed with stage 3C colon cancer on December 12th, 2012 at the age of 48. So you can see why this is an important issue to me! Some of the life expectancy “statistics” gave me a 60 – 40 chance to survive. But I was lucky. I had great doctors along with support from family and friends and of course faith. I maintained a positive attitude and a fighting spirit. I believe there was a reason this happened to me. I feel called to help spread the word about the importance colonoscopies as prescribed by your doctor. However your doctor can’t recommend a colonoscopy if you don’t go in for annual physicals! So make the time to see your doctor every year. It can save your life. It did mine. And for those of you out there that are still battling colon cancer keep fighting! I’ll be thinking of you on Nov 6th!

We would like to thank Frank and all our team members who have taken the time to share their stories with our community while training for this year’s marathon and kicking butt with fundraising too! Click here to support Frank, and if you’d like to make a general team donation, click here. Every dollar makes a difference!

Meet Our 2016 TCS NYC Marathon Team: Anthony Gollan

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What is better than running a marathon? Running a marathon with friends! We are honored and excited to have four close friends who will all be running for the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation on November 6. Today we introduce you to one member of this team-within-a-team, Anthony Gollan.

I am truly honoured to again be running with the Colon Cancer Challenge Team for 2016.  2016 will be my third CCCF New York Marathon and each year it gets more exciting and inspiring to be a part of the team.  I originally joined CCCF to support a fellow running mate who had lost her father to the beast.  Whilst that support continues and will never abate, each year I run in honour of family and friends that are confronted with the challenges of cancer, irrespective of where it may attack.  This year I am running for my Dad and Haley. 

Team Colon Cancer Challenge member Anthony Gollan

Team Colon Cancer Challenge member Anthony Gollan

It wasn’t until I became involved with the CCCF team that I became aware of my family medical history and colon cancer.  I have lost aunts and uncles to it.  As a result of heightened awareness, I now take control of my colon condition through diet and scans.  I am a broken record with my friends, particularly the men, about them taking control of their colon condition and destiny.

 Running with me this year are three of my closest mates, all running with CCCF.  2016 will see us tick the box on one of my marathon goals and be running with them all in the same year.  We’ve had a couple of false starts over recent years with injury and other reasons preventing us from being in New York on the same weekend.  We will succeed this year and I am looking forward to the healthy rivalry we have, and the brotherhood we treasure dearly.  

 Thanks must go to Luc Walter for his leadership, generosity, passion and hospitality that makes CCCF New York possible for us all.

Anthony will be traveling to NYC from Suzhou, China! We are so excited to have you and your friends joining us this year, Anthony!

Thanks to runners like Anthony and donors like Luc, we have now raised OVER $70,000 from our TCS New York City Marathon team. Click here to check out our team’s progress and make a donation today!

Meet Our 2016 TCS NYC Marathon Team: Dr. Dana Lukin

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Happy Friday! With just over three weeks to go until the TCS NYC Marathon, we are starting to gear up for a very exciting day on November 6.
The TCS NYC Marathon is a very important event in our calendar. It is not just a fundraiser; it is an awareness-raiser (though the funds are critical too, of course! Click here to support our team!). As our Team Colon Cancer Challenge members run through the five boroughs of New York City, their bold blue team t-shirts will be seen by over one million people. We will never know what connections are made as a result of a marathon spectator reading the white and orange words on our team t-shirt. But we do know there is no underestimating the importance of this awareness-raising opportunity.
unnamedOne person who is already keenly aware of the risk factors and symptoms of colorectal cancer is Team Colon Cancer Challenge member Dr. Dana Lukin. Dr. Lukin was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to introduce himself and answer some questions.
What is your connection to colorectal cancer? As a gastroenterologist, a large focus of my work involves screening for and prevention of colorectal cancer (CRC).  I have a focus on patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), a population at increased risk for CRC. Understanding more about the risk factors for CRC and novel ways to treat it are of paramount importance.

Why did you decide to join Team Colon Cancer Challenge? My father in law and sister in law both were running the NYC Marathon. I had been on the fence about running until I saw an email seeking team members. This is a cause near and dear to my heart and led me to sign up for the race.

What are you most looking forward to in conquering the NYC Marathon? Sharing in the experience with family members running for the first time and to help raise a lot of money for the CCCF.
Survivors, caregivers, doctors: all are represented on Team Colon Cancer Challenge. We are so proud to have such a dedicated and diverse group representing us! To support Dr. Lukin and Team Colon Cancer Challenge, click here.

Meet Our 2016 TCS NYC Marathon Team: Lou Malcangi

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Before I introduce you to the contagious enthusiasm and charisma of Lou Malcangi, first: a HUGE thank you to Lou and all of our amazing NYC Marathon runners whose fundraising has surpassed last year! Bravo! We are thisclose reaching $70,000 – every donation helps to get us there. Please take a quick moment to support Team Colon Cancer Challenge today!
Take it away, Lou!
My Name is Lou Malcangi I’m 49 years old and have been running for almost 3 years.
I am running for the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation because I always thought my dad was a tough guy. Well, “that’s a weird reason to run” you might think. I thought that until my mom was diagnosed stage 4 metastatic colon cancer. That’s when I discovered was being tough was really about. It’s not about having muscles and working a physically demanding job, like my dad the construction worker. It was about looking at the fight in her eyes when she told me that she was going to watch my newborn son grow up “no matter what I have to do.”
Team Colon Cancer Challenge member Lou Malcangi

Team Colon Cancer Challenge member Lou Malcangi

Multiple surgeries, chemo, a hepatic arterial pump, another surgery and more chemo, countless doctor appointments and monitoring – and she kept going. It’s 17 years later and my son is getting ready for college and Mom has had the opportunity to watch him grow from a baby to a  young man. She is now a big part of my six-year-old daughter’s life as well. We were fortunate, Mom has been cancer-free for 12+ years. I would love to hear about more families that have happy ending like ours. The services that the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation provides are exactly what are needed: research, awareness, education and screening for early detection. I am proud to do my part to bring an end to sad stories and help create many happy endings for other families!

We are so thrilled that Lou has joined our community to spread such a positive and inspiring message. And we congratulate him on surpassing his $3,000 fundraising goal! But we’re sure he wouldn’t mind more donations. To support Lou and his amazing mom, click here.

Meet Our 2016 TCS NYC Marathon Team: Sara Sullivan

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With less than a month to go to the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, our athletes have logged hundreds of training miles and raised tens of thousands of dollars. Members of Team Colon Cancer Challenge hail from all corners of the U.S. and the globe, from Australia to Hong Kong. But they will all be in one place (well, technically, five boroughs) on November 6!
Today, we introduce you to one of our NYC locals, Sara Sullivan, who will be running in honor of her father. Here is Sara’s story.
I am about to turn 30 years old and have been running consistently for about the last five years. I have participated in three half marathons and this will be my first marathon. I decided I wanted to run the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon about a year ago as I thought it would be a cool thing to accomplish shortly after my 30th birthday.
Team Colon Cancer Challenge member Sara Sullivan

Team Colon Cancer Challenge member Sara Sullivan

 This past November, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, and I immediately knew I wanted to run the marathon in honor of him. I began to look for colon cancer charities to run for which is how I found this organization. My dad has completed two rounds of chemo and radiation, and recently had surgery to remove the tumors from his colon and from his liver. He still has a long road in front of him, but the doctors are optimistic that he will be triumphant in his battle against cancer. I’m running to honor him, as well as to raise money and awareness for the continued fight against cancer.
Click here to show your support for Sara and Team Colon Cancer Challenge!

Meet Our 2016 TCS NYC Marathon Team: Teresa Killion

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Team Colon Cancer Challenge member Teresa Killion

With just over a month to go until the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, our runners are conquering more and more training miles every week. We are hugely proud of their accomplishments both in training and fundraising. Visit our Crowdrise site and prepare to be impressed!

In this second installment in our “Meet Our Team” series, we are proud to introduce Teresa Killion. Don’t mess with Texas!

For the past 20 years I have called myself a Texan but I’m orginally from Oklahoma. I’ve been married for over 30 years to my amazing husband Gary and have one son in college.

Running the NYC Marathon will be an amazing experience and I have chosen to represent the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation due to the high rate of colon cancer deaths in my family. My brother Russell passed away in 2001 at the age of 37. I deeply miss my big brother and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. My mother-in-law Margaret passed away in 1996 at the age of 53. We miss hearing her laugh and seeing her beautiful smile. Early detection and screening could have saved both of their lives. The loss of my grandmother and uncles and other family members to this disease has fueled me to be passionate for this charity and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to support the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation at the New York City Marathon. I read your charity site and truly believe awareness and early detection are the keys. I read how you support the community after the loss of loved ones, which is needed and not something that everyone gets.

On November 6, I’ll be running in memory of my big brother Russell. I’ve been running my entire life but have really gotten into more of the organized races over the past few years. I believe I have run in over 20 half marathons which include Las Vegas, Dallas, Galveston, Nashville, Estes Park, San Antonio, OKC Memorial, and many more. I’m so passionate about running that I will do any 5k with friends when asked and definitely will try to motivate everyone to join in. I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis in 2007 and have discovered movement with running improves my stiffness and flexibility of my joints and muscles. As sore as I may be the next day, the benefits physically and emotionally outweigh any pain that I may have.

Fundraising for the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation is just the perfect fit for me and it will be an emotional day as I’m crossing the finish line.

You can learn more about Teresa and support her fundraising efforts here.

Meet Our 2016 TCS NYC Marathon Team: Courtney Rheuban

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The countdown is ON for the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon! We are so proud to have an incredible group of runners representing Team Colon Cancer Challenge this year. Together, our athletes have raised over $65,000 and counting! We cannot wait to cheer them on as they tackle 26.2 miles on November 6.

In this first “Meet Our Team” installment, we are honored to introduce you to Courtney Rheuban from Venice, CA. Here is her story.

My first marathon was seven years ago, with no experience whatsoever. I was going through a hard time and decided to sign up for one. Of course, my entire family thought I wasn’t going to make it. Shortly after I started training, I started dating Rick, who would later become my husband. He supported me through all my races. By the time I stopped running, I had done three marathons and a dozen half marathons. In 2013 we decided to do a half marathon together. I trained him for about four months and in November 2013 we did the Las Vegas Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon. We crossed the finish line and Rick turned to me and said, “That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” That turned out to not be true.

Courtney's Photo

Team Colon Cancer Challenge member Courtney Rheuban and her husband Rick

In February 2014, three months later, he started not feeling well. Dizzy, shortness of breath, unable to walk up and down the stairs in our apartment. He finally got in to see the doctor in March and it wasn’t good. After a series of tests, we found out he had a massive cancerous tumor in his colon, and at the end of March he had a colon resection surgery and spent eight days in the hospital. Unfortunately there were cancer cells in his lymph nodes also, so he underwent 12 rounds of chemotherapy. He did all 12 rounds – something his doctor didn’t think would actually happen due to how intensive the treatment was. He finished in November 2014, and we decided he should scan in December instead of waiting six months like normal. Our thoughts were, we’ve already met his deductible so might as well do it now. Not only did he not respond to the chemotherapy, his cancer had spread to his liver and peritoneal lining and he had developed new tumors.

2015 was spent trying to find a treatment plan. We knew there was no cure, but we were doing everything we could to gain a little more time. Two more chemotherapy treatments, two clinical trials and three different hospital visits for experimental surgeries that he didn’t qualify for. All to no avail. He continued to get sicker, and his tumors continued to multiply and grow in spite of everything we did. Christmas day was the beginning of the end. He spiked a fever and we spent the night in the hospital. Between Christmas and New Years we were in the hospital twice, and the final time was January 4th 2016. After four days in the hospital, he was released to go home and into home hospice. I took a leave of absence from work at that point. Five weeks later, on February 8th, he passed away at home, peacefully in bed, with me and our dogs.

One month later, on the one month anniversary of his passing, I received the email saying I had been accepted into the NYC Marathon. This was a bucket item I had been trying for since I started running, and each year Rick and I were disappointed when I didn’t get in. He was from New York originally and we thought it would have been so cool for me to run in his home town. I knew this was his way of looking out for me.

Rick was a man who refused to be defined by his cancer. As far as he was concerned, he was a man who happened to have cancer, and it didn’t get in the way of our lives. We lived life to the fullest, traveling as much as possible, going to concerts, doing everything fun we could think of. Most people didn’t even know he had cancer until he passed away.

Rick never got a colonoscopy before he got sick, and I always wonder if he would still be alive today if he had started getting them at 50 like he was supposed to (he was 54 when he was diagnosed, died at 56). This is why I 41630300 - donate button on computer keyboard pc key 3dwanted to run for the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation. Everyone should get a colonoscopy. If this is a cancer that is somewhat avoidable everyone should have that opportunity. I don’t want anyone else to go through what we went through.

I’m running for Rick! Please take a moment and donate today!!

Courtney has set an ambitious goal of raising $10,000. Help Courtney reach her goal by clicking HERE. And stay tuned for more moving stories as we count down to Marathon Sunday! After all, we are all in this Challenge together.


Welcome to the new Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation Blog!

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Our new CCCFBlog is up and running! Welcome!

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We are excited to roll out this new feature of our website and connect with not only our current supporters but also new web visitors who are looking for information about our organization and colorectal cancer. We hope you will find this blog useful and inspiring. Here’s what we have in store for this space:

  • Spotlighting the personal stories of our Team Colon Cancer Challenge participants and supporters;
  • One-on-one conversations with our founder, Dr. Thomas Weber;
  • Recapping the extraordinary sessions of our annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit, led by world-renowned physicians, scientists and other medical professionals;
  • Highlighting our partners and other resources of interest to our community;
  • Sharing our latest event and outreach news, as well as up-to-the-minute updates in colorectal cancer research and prevention.

How does this sound? We want to hear from YOU. Please take a moment to email us or reach out on social media to let us know what you want to read. We are here for you and want this blog to be a reflection of our incredible community.

Find us on social media:

img_4960And who am I, your resident CCCF blogger? My name is Jennifer Butler, and I have been a CCCF supporter since the very first Colon Cancer Challenge in 2004. I ran then, and I run now, in honor of my stepdad John Hanna, who succumbed to colon cancer a mere 20 months after being diagnosed with the disease in 2002. The support that our team, Running for John, garnered for that first race brought my stepdad immeasurable joy and comfort during the last months of his life. For that, I will be forever grateful to Dr. Weber and the CCCF. I live in Chappaqua, NY, with my husband and French Bulldog and I’m a supermom of two young children. I represented Team Colon Cancer Challenge in this year’s NYC Half-Marathon and am in awe of all of our NYC Marathon runners – whose stories we will spotlight in upcoming posts.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned!