Each person featured here are volunteers touched by colorectal cancer. Get Your Rear in Gear® and Tour de Tush™ events would not exist without them.
Please join us in saying “Thank You” for their tireless efforts.
Want to join this impressive group of individuals? Contact us about bringing Get Your Rear in Gear or Tour de Tush to your community.
Gale Fritsche | allentown, pa |
Gale is the event director for the Tour de Tush bicycle ride held in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He became involved in planning the event while going through treatments for stage III colon cancer discovered during a routine screening. His hope is that events like the Tour de Tush will make an impact on many communities in the fight against colon cancer.
Nikol Hamilton | arkansas |
Educate-Equip-Encourage! These three action steps illustrate Nikol’s role as a public speaker, health coach, and colorectal cancer advocate. She serves many populations from in-patient to community care focused on wellness, disease prevention, and survivorship care for chronic disease. She loves barrel racing, dancing, and travel.
Ryan Murray | austin, tx |
Ryan lives in Austin with his wife, Jessica and lots of animals… and honeybees. He has volunteered with Get Your Rear in Gear in Austin since 2007 in honor of his loved ones lost to all types of cancer.
Barkley Booker | baton rouge, la
Barkley is a stage III rectal cancer survivor, diagnosed at age 37. She got involved with the Colon Cancer Coalition because she wants to encourage anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of the disease to get checked by their doctor. She is committed to getting the word out – that this is a preventable cancer – to as many people as possible.
Neelima Reddy | baton rouge, la |
Neelima is a gastroenterologist who enjoys spreading awareness in the community and doing this fun event, Get Your Rear in Gear in Baton Rouge.
Brian Shelly | boston, ma |
Brian got involved with the Colon Cancer Coalition after his brother-in-law was diagnosed with colon cancer in his 30s. He hopes the work he does for the Boston 5K will encourage all people, not just those above the screening age of 50, to know the signs and symptoms of the disease and to talk with their families about health history and the importance of screening.
Mary-Karen Bierman | charlotte, nc |
Mary-Karen Bierman is a Stage I colorectal cancer survivor who teamed up with a fellow survivor, Sue Falco, in 2010 to bring Get Your Rear in Gear to Charlotte, NC. Together they grew this event from 1,200 participants in the first year to over 2.300 in 2016! Sue, who lost her battle with this disease in January 2016 at 46 years of age, would have been proud! Mary-Karen is continuing to lead this event in Sue’s honor because she knows the huge impact that the awareness brought by 5k and the programs funded through it has on survivors, their families, and the Charlotte community.
Sue Falco | charlotte, nc
Sue led Get Your Rear in Gear – Charlotte from the first race in 2010 until her death in 2016. The Charlotte event is dedicated to her memory and the team is determined to change the way we see colorectal cancer one beautiful warrior at a time.
Doc Mahaffey | charlotte, nc
Doc battled colorectal cancer 3-times before it finally claimed his life. Diagnosed in 2010 with Stage I rectal cancer at the age of 50, Doc became involved after a stage III diagnosis in 2012. In August 2014, he was diagnosed a 3rd time with a re-occurrence of Stage IV, which made him more determined to increase awareness, screening rates, and the support available to those in treatment. When Sue Falco lost her 8-year battle just months before the 2016 event in Charlotte, Doc stepped in as co-director, a roll he held before his passing later the same year. Doc was the self-proclaimed Blue Ribbon Warrior, living by his motto “In the battle against cancer, it takes a warrior to survive.”
Daphne Dulude | colchester, vt |
This annual race began in 2008 in honor of her sister, Denyse Conant. As a runner, Daphne thought this was a wonderful way to support her and colon cancer awareness.
Tammy Phillips | columbus, oh |
Tammy is a mother, wife, and full time police officer, but first she is a daughter. Her journey with colon cancer began in 2011 after her mother was diagnosed with the disease. She is a worker bee by nature and was excited to do more in the fight with colon cancer prevention and education. She searched for a race to run honoring her mothers fight and ended up creating one in Columbus, Ohio in 2015 through the Colon Cancer Coalition. In addition to directing the upcoming race, she devotes a great deal of time serving the homeless community and volunteering at the local shelter.
David & Winonah McCluskey | des moines, ia
David McCluskey is a colorectal cancer survivor. He and his wife Winonah started the Colon Cancer Foundation of Iowa (formerly Davids Fight) in memory of David Kinman, who passed away at the age of 36, after a hard fought battle against colorectal cancer. Their mission and passion is to find a way to help families fight this terrible disease. Get Your Rear in Gear in Des Moines allows them to make an impact and increase screening rates, awareness, and provide financial assistance to families affected by colorectal cancer in Iowa. In their free time, they love to spend time with their 14 year old son, Nick. They are active in their community and with their church. David is involved in a variety of projects, and is a high school wrestling referee. Winonah is involved in the local school district, helping start a new nonprofit to provide resources to teachers throughout West Des Moines.
Michelle Squires | fort worth, tx |
Michelle is a CPA, a wife, a mother of two young children and staunch advocate for colon cancer prevention and education. In 2012 her mother passed away after a three year battle with colon cancer that left her heartbroken. Volunteering with the Colon Cancer Coalition and Get Your Rear in Gear – Fort Worth has been a part of her healing process. She honoring her and making a difference in her community by bringing awareness to this awful disease.
April Williams | hickory, nc |
April is a critical care nurse and serves as nursing faculty at a local university. Her dad passed away in 2011 and her entire family became involved in Get Your Rear in Gear – Hickory in 2013 & 2014. When Get Your Rear in Gear did not return to Hickory in 2015 and April knew this event was important to the community and decided to take the charge as local race director in 2016.
Allison Rosen | houston, tx |
Allison is a local Texan, and a 4-year colon cancer survivor. She got involved with the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K in Houston while getting back in shape after surgeries and treatment. She loves volunteering and is passionate about educating people under 50 about the need for scopes. You are never too young to get colorectal cancer!
Angie Hipsher | indianapolis, in
Angie got involved with Get Your Rear in Gear 2010 and took on the local event director roll from 2012-2015. She is a runner herself, running much more than an occasional 5K. She is a partner at Crowe Horwath, an accounting and consulting firm, and a single mom to two wonderful kids who keep her moving between the soccer fields, softball fields and gymnastics. She is passionate about educating on colon cancer and making a difference in her community. In 2016, Angie passed the torch in Indianapolis to Jennifer Ward.
Jennifer Ward | indianapolis |
Jennifer is a single mother working in the technology industry. She and her family got involved with the Colon Cancer Coalition in 2013 when their mother was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Jenny was told that she was at high risk for colon cancer twenty years ago when she was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis during her pregnancy. For the last twenty years she has been trying to spread the word that no one should be embarrassed to talk about their colon and colon health. When her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer having had no prior colon health issues, she felt compelled to broaden her messaging about colon health and screening to anyone that would listen. She believes that if people would talk openly about colon health, more lives could be saved. Her goal is to raise as much money as possible so that screening and awareness campaigns can be funded in Indiana to raise colon cancer awareness.
Ginny Goddard | kansas city |
Ginny lost her husband to colon cancer in 2010 when he was 29 years old. Since then, she has been on a mission to raise awareness about this disease in the Kansas City community, especially to young adults.
Stacie Moody | kansas city |
Stacie’s father was diagnosed with colon cancer at 37 and was lost one month after his 40th birthday. His entire family also died from colon cancer at relatively young ages. At 21 Stacie decided it was time to get checked out, and had her first colonoscopy at 26. Now she is working on spreading awareness about the importance of early detection, knowing the symptoms of colon cancer, and getting doctors to be more aware of the possibility of colon cancer among younger adults.
Phil Taylor | ladd, il |
Phil is a seasoned race director and owner of a chip timing company who enjoys participating in (and timing) events from 5Ks to marathons!
Christi Holland | memphis, tn |
Christi’s family was devastated with the news that her 40-year-old husband had stage III colon cancer. Getting involved in the Colon Cancer Coalition allowed her to stop feeling helpless.
Bill Carroll | mobile, al |
Bill had a friend that was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and wanted to participate in something to show his support. There was nothing in Mobile for colon cancer awareness, so when he found the Colon Cancer Coalition online, Get Your Rear in Gear – Mobile was born in 2014.
Ashley Loveless | muscatine, ia |
Ashley has lived in Muscatine County all her life and hold this community very close to her heart. She became involved with Get Your Rear in Gear to celebrate my father’s hard fight with colon cancer and has a true passion for helping others and spreading the word about colon cancer. She is proud to help the under and uninsured people in her community screened, and has been truly inspired by the stories of patients that have received screenings through the Get Your Rear in Gear Colon Cancer Screening Fund at Trinity Muscatine.
Bryan Fessler | muscatine, ia
Bryan pioneered Get Your Rear in Gear in Muscatine, Iowa and developed the Get Your Rear in Gear Colon Cancer Screening Fund at Trinity Muscatine. His first event was planned in 2011 in memory of his wife, Ellen, as a way to pay forward the kindness and support he received from the community. In 2016 he handed the reigns to Ashley Loveless. Thank you Bryan for your years of dedication to the cause!
Katie Robert | new hampshire |
Katie lives in Concord, NH with her husband and two daughters – Madelyn and Norah. She is a public health consultant working for John Snow, Inc., and is the current Board President for the New Hampshire Public Health Association. Katie’s passion for this event was inspired by her mother’s 10-year battle with colon cancer, to which she finally succumbed in November 2014.
Claudia Gutierrez-Paye | new york city, ny |
Claudia works as a Practice Administrator for Dr. Frank Peritore. When she is not working she enjoys running, the beach and spending time with her family. Claudia lost her dad to colon cancer in 2006; since then she has dedicated herself to helping spread awareness.
Alyssa Langenthal | new york city, ny |
Alyssa is a native New Yorker, working as a school counselor with a true passion for helping others. She has always been involved in fundraising but for the past three years, raised money directly for the Colon Cancer Coalition. Alyssa’s journey with colorectal cancer began at a very young age when her aunt was diagnosed and passed away from Stage IV rectal cancer. Alyssa is a big advocate for everyone to get screened and motivated to keep the memory of her aunt alive by celebrating the wonderful person that she was. “The years go on but we never forget.”
Vanessa Lal Steinkemp | new york city, ny
Vanessa helped bring Get Your Rear in Gear to New York City in 2010 after the death of a very close friend, Amy K. Covey.
Sarah Mitchell | new york city, ny
Mother to three, wife to one, and friend to many, Sarah Covey Mitchell has been involved in the Get Your Rear in Gear – New York City since 2010. Her sister, Amy, died of colon cancer at the age of 33 in 2009, and the Covey family has been supporting the Colon Cancer Coalition in Amy’s memory. Sarah resides in London, UK with her family.
Semhal Tekeske | new york city, ny |
Semhal and her family have been involved with the Colon Cancer Coalition since 2012, getting involved to honor her father, Tekeste Mengistu, who passed away from colon cancer in June 2012. In 2014, Semhal acted as the local event director for Get Your Rear in Gear – Alexandria. After moving to Brooklyn, Semhal joined the Get Your Rear in Gear – New York planning committee. She is on a mission to create community awareness within the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities of which she is a part. Semhal is a digital strategist with a passion for technology, the arts, women’s issues, Africa, and her adorable nieces and nephews.
Kristin Smock | omaha, ne
Kristin lost her mom, Linda, to colon cancer in 2003. Her mom was only 53-years-old. She and her family now get tested regularly and she tells anyone else who will listen! Kristin has recently gotten involved with this event to help raise awareness and help support any local efforts.
Kalin Eshelman | orange county, ca |
Kalin originally started as a volunteer with Colon Cancer Coalition after her dad had been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. She wanted to be a part of a community that truly joins hands together and helps one another fight their battle, loved ones battle or is supporting an angel. When she is not working my full time job, her free time is truly dedicated to raising awareness and educating, lifting her daddy’s spirits as he continues his four-year battle, and making this organization have an impact in every city throughout the US. She loves this community that has been formed and is so happy to have been able to see Get Your Rear in Gear – Orange County continue to flourish year over year.
Sarah Steele | orange county, ca |
When Sarah is not at work in the healthcare industry, she spends her time with her husband and his two kids. After losing both her mother and grandmother to colon cancer, and following her brother successful beating colon cancer she got involved to raise awareness of on time screening so that other families don’t have to lose loved ones like her family did.
Ashley Johnson | orlando, fl |
Ashley is the event director for Orlando, Florida. She is a positive upbeat Florida Gator alumni who is set on achieving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!
Maria Grasso | philadelphia, pa |
After losing her father and grandfather to colon cancer, Maria felt the need to make a difference in her community. In 2009, she partnered with the Colon Cancer Coalition to bring Get Your Rear in Gear to Philadelphia and do just that. They have had tremendous success in raising funds and awareness.
Dan Hawkins | portland, or |
Dan is a rectal cancer survivor who loves being the local event director for Portland. It brings him so much joy to know he is helping others.
Amber Hight | san antonio, tx |
This Coalition is close to Amber’s heart because she unfortunately lost two family members to colon cancer. Her hope in being a part of this is to help bring hope and raise awareness.
Diana Wernig | saratoga, ny |
Diana, retired, took up the cause to promote colon cancer awareness after the death of her father from the disease. She has two daughters and four grandchildren.
Anita Mitchell-Isler | seattle, wa |
Anita is a 10-year stage IV colorectal survivor and founder of Colon Cancer Stars of Washington State. Her mission is to educate everyone on the importance of screening and give hope to newly diagnosed patients.
Michelle Giacomino | tampa, fl
Colon cancer took Michelle’s STRONG and beautiful Mom when she was only 51. She continues to honor her everyday and continues to fight for her while helping raise awareness for colon cancer.
Celeste Hayward | tinley park, il |
Celeste has been the co-chair of the Get Your Rear in Gear – Tinley Park since it’s inaugural event in 2009. She is supported by a committee of family and friends who started the event as a way to honor the memory of her husband Rick, who lost his battle with colon cancer just 6-1/2 months after his diagnosis.
Katherine Anderson | tulsa, ok |
Katherine Anderson is a Naturopathic Doctor and currently serves as the Chief, Division of Naturopathic Medicine for CTCA’s five hospital system and as Director of Integrative Oncology at CTCA’s Southwestern Regional Medical Center in Tulsa, OK. She has a BSc. in mathematics, received her naturopathic degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and received her MBA at Oklahoma State University As Director of Integrative Oncology, she collaborates with a diverse array of experts and other medical personnel daily, to provide individualized, integrative care for oncology patients. She has over 12 years of experience working in an integrated hospital environment providing oncology care to patients.
Jesse Powell | tulsa, ok |
Jesse enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids at Grand Lake in Oklahoma. He started volunteering for Get your Rear in Gear – Tulsa after his mother, Beth Powell, was diagnosed with colon cancer. To honor the fight of her and his longtime friend and colleague, Gerald Dorsey, Jesse formed Team Butt Buddies! After a very successful turn out Jesse was asked to be part of the Get Your Rear in Gear team. It’s his goal to raise awareness for early detection and screening for this terrible disease.
Cheryl “Cee” Alston | national capital area |
Cheryl, 58 years old, was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 56 after “losing” referrals for colonoscopies and being diagnosed with lactose intolerance by her primary care physician. After six months of oral chemo, she started “Cee’s Cause 4 a Cure” to give back to the community through awareness engagement activities.
Debbie Fallon | watertown, sd |
Debbie is a stay at home mom with three beautiful children, a fantastic husband and one Fozzy Bear (their dog)! Her dad passed away in 2013 from colon cancer at the young age of 73.
J.J. Sorochty | wichita, ks | J.J. is a stay at home mom of three busy kids. She became involved with Get Your Rear in Gear when her sister was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at 42. Being a Get Your Rear in Gear event director has been such a rewarding experience!