Fort Worth, Texas (Jan17,2023) — Before her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 51, Michelle Squires knew little about the disease. Three years later, her mother had passed and Squires forever changed. Now she is a full-time advocate, talking openly about signs and symptoms of colon cancer with friends and co-workers.
She urges everyone to get screened on time and has served as the Local Event Director for the largest colon cancer event series in North America, “Get Your Rear in Gear,” since 2014. “Losing someone you love is heartbreaking,” says Squires. “After you’ve gone through that, you work so that this disease doesn’t change other’s lives in the same way.”
Colon cancer advocates like Squires, as well as patients, survivors, caregivers, runners, walkers, and volunteers alike will gather at Trinity Park on Sunday, March 19 for the 13th annual Get Your Rear in Gear−Fort Worth. The family-friendly event features music, snacks, a giant inflatable colon, as well as a timed 5K and untimed walk (most attendees enjoy taking the course at a leisurely walk, and all bets are off at the Kids’ Fun Run).
Fort Worth is one of nearly 40 Get Your Rear in Gear host cities across North America; local volunteers, like Squires, plan all local events with support from the Colon Cancer Coalition. Each Get Your Rear in Gear aims to educate the public and raise local funds for colon cancer screening and prevention. Recently, Get Your Rear in Gear−Fort Worth financed colorectal cancer patient prescription co-pay assistance, health insurance premium assistance, and transportation support. The need is certainly high; according to the CDC, more than 11,100 Texans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year.
“Get Your Rear in Gear events are a time for the colorectal cancer community to join together to support one another,” says Colon Cancer Coalition President Chris Evans. “Events like these give patients, survivors, caregivers, and other loved ones the chance to connect with others living the shared experience of a colorectal cancer diagnosis while helping create awareness for this very treatable disease.”
As for Michelle Squires, she’s here to make sure her neighbors know the signs and symptoms of colon cancer, are getting screened, and listening to their bodies. “This is life or death, and we’re here to work together to save as many folks as possible.”
Get Your Rear in Gear−Fort Worth registration information is available at ColonCancerCoalition.org/FortWorth.
COLON CANCER FACTS
- 1 in 24 Americans will be diagnosed with colon or rectal(colorectal) cancer during their lifetime.
- 51% of adults 50-54 have not been screened.
- Colonoscopy screening can prevent colorectal cancer.
- Colorectal cancer is now the most common cause of cancer death in men younger than 50.
- 1 in 5 colorectal cancer patients are 20-54 years old.
- By 2030, colorectal cancer is predicted to be the #1 cause of cancer deaths in adults under the age of 50.
- In 2021, the recommended age for routine cancer screenings was lowered from 50 to 45.