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In Your Community: Financial assistance to colon cancer patients

By Mel Ness, Get Your Rear in Gear communications intern

The organizers of the Get Your Rear in Gear in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, wanted the main focus of the event to be making a difference in the local community.  That is why they designated the funds from the inaugural Winston-Salem  event to assist Cancer Services, a non-profit that provides financial assistance and support to cancer patients in the area.

“With this grant, we will provide direct financial assistance with medications and other cancer-related needs of colon cancer patients.  This helps ensure that members in our community facing colon cancer will have access to the treatment support they need during their journey,” said Tara O’ Brien, chief executive officer of Cancer Services.

A colon cancer survivor crosses the finish line at the Winston-Salem race in March 2011.

A colon cancer survivor crosses the finish line at the Winston-Salem race in March 2011.

Get Your Rear in Gear Winston-Salem race director Lyn Wooten chose Cancer Services as the recipient of the grant based on the services they provide. The grant will be used specifically to insure that all under-served populations have access to colon cancer care.

“I knew that Cancer Services serves multiple communities in our area and would take such good care of the cancer patients – I knew they would find the patients that need the resources,” said Wooten.

Wooten, the Gastrointestinal Oncology Coordinator at Wake Forest Baptist Health, started the Get Your Rear in Gear Winston-Salem event in 2011 after observing the lack of resources in the local community.

“There could be a big opportunity for disease prevention if there were community programs out there that focused on nutrition, the importance of knowing your family history, the importance of getting a colonoscopy and overall good health. I felt like this race was a good place to start,” said Wooten.

Wooten is looking forward to the 2012 race, which will be held on March 31. “This race and the money raised can make a tremendous difference and we love being a part of it.”

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