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ASCRS forms collaboration with Colon Cancer Alliance to reach new donor base, gain wider public visibility
Colon Cancer Alliance ASCRS has formed an exciting collaborative effort with the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA).

“This collaboration with CCA offers a unique opportunity to reach a new base of potential donors for the ASCRS Research Foundation and to give our Society’s name, our specialty and patient care mission much wider public visibility,” says Past President Dr. Alan Thorson, Omaha, NE, who is the liaison for the new collaboration.

“The Foundation’s current fundraising efforts have a limited reach to our members, some other physicians, corporate supporters, and a handful of grateful patients. The CCA is a leading national patient advocacy organization with a large public following. It is devoted to colon cancer with a range of programs, including the Undy Run/Walk.

Colon Cancer Alliance Undy Run WalkThe Undy Run/Walk is a family-friendly 5K run and one mile walk, formerly known as the Undy 5000, and gets people talking about colon cancer and prevention, with the ultimate goal of saving lives. By participating—whether to support a loved one, honor the memory of someone lost to the disease, raise awareness or simply run through the streets in a wild pair of undies—their community of survivors, families, healthcare professionals, runners, sponsors and friends are making a difference across the country.

“The Undy Run/Walk reaches a wide public audience and our new collaboration offers us the opportunity to reach that same extended audience,” Dr. Thorson explains. In exchange for verifiable support from colon and rectal surgeons in cities hosting an Undy Run/Walk, the CCA will make a donation to the Research Foundation for every registrant and publicly recognize the Research Foundation as the recipient of CCA research dollars. In addition, the specialty of colon and rectal surgery will be prominently displayed at Undy Run/Walk events.

“By helping the CCA increase participation in Undy Run/Walk events in communities across the nation, we get people talking about colon cancer, increase public visibility of the specialty of colon and rectal surgery and raise money for the ASCRS Research Foundation to support important research efforts,” he says.

In order for this collaboration to thrive, we need active ASCRS member involvement at the grass roots level,” Dr. Thorson says. Verifiable support from ASCRS members can take a number of forms.

“Most importantly, we urge ASCRS members to get registered for the Undy Run/Walk in their communities. By running or walking with us you are helping the Colon Cancer Alliance knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers,” Dr. Thorson says.

However we recognize that not all members may be able to participate in the actual Run/Walk. There are many other options to show support and secure research dollars for the Research Foundation. ASCRS members near each Undy Run/Walk event can support the cause by sending personal invitations to:

  • Colorectal cancer patients and survivors in their practices, and high risk individuals/those with a family history of colorectal cancer;
  • Medical partners such as referring doctors and medical device and pharmaceutical representatives.

Members may also actively participate by:

  • Displaying local event flyers/brochures/posters in their offices;
  • Including local event information in office newsletters, websites, etc.;
  • Identifying an office champion (physician or staff) to lead a team and recruit staff, patients, friends, family to participate in the local event;
  • Helping to generate fundraising through their offices;
  • Posting to social media sites;
  • Sponsoring the local event.

The bottom line: In consideration of ASCRS members’ efforts to promote the Undy Run/Walk, the Colon Cancer Alliance will donate $1 of every paid event registration to the ASCRS Research Foundation. Based on current projections, these Research Foundation contributions could reach $15,000. The money raised will fund research focused on investigating the molecular basis of young onset colorectal cancer, a growing group of people being diagnosed with colon cancer.

Event sites and dates for 2014-2015 are:

  • Dallas, TX - November 8, 2014
  • Phoenix, AZ - November 15, 2014
  • Tampa, FL - February 7, 2015
  • Sacramento, CA - February 28, 2015
  • Macon, GA - March 7, 2015
  • San Diego, CA - March 7, 2015
  • St. Louis, MO - March 21, 2015* (pending confirmation)
  • Sonoma, CA - April 11, 2015
  • Buffalo, NY - April 25, 2015
  • Piedmont Triad, NC - May 2, 2015
  • Greater Ft. Lauderdale, FL - May 16, 2015
  • Denver, CO - June 2015
  • Tacoma, WA - June 2015

ASCRS members in these communities who are interested in serving as one of the Society’s coordinators in your community may contact Dr. Thorson directly at agthorson@msn.com or 402-343-1122.

The Colon Cancer Alliance has assigned Stephanie Student, its Community Engagement Manager, as the liaison to ASCRS members interested in actively participating in the event. Members who want more information, brochures, discount codes or to get actively involved are asked to contact Ms. Student:

Email: sstudent@ccalliance.org
Phone: (202) 628-0123 ext. 125

“We love seeing communities motivated to do something positive. We have a great start, but need your help. Whether you choose to be a local sponsor, sign up as a team and recruit staff and patients to participate, register as a runner or walker or help out as a volunteer, you can be confident that your involvement is a step in the right direction toward a future free of colon cancer," says Eric R. Hargis, Colon Cancer Alliance CEO.

You can check out the organization’s array of patient support and empowerment services, like their Helpline, screening assistance and patient grant programs, by visiting ccalliance.org.