By Maria Grasso, Chair/Event Director GYRIG Philadelphia
I will never forget the day…. It was a sunny day in March 2005 and I was in St. Louis, MO traveling on business when my Mom called. She said Dad was not feeling well and they visited the Doctor earlier that morning. “They found a mass” Mom said, “But don’t worry, everything is going to be okay”. I could hear the worry in Mom’s voice even though she did her very best to disguise it. See, my Mom’s father, my grandfather, died of colon cancer years before.
Then it happened, my very worst fear came true. 10 months later, at the young age of 67 my father, my mentor, my hero, my soccer coach, my life coach, lost his battle to this dreaded disease. I could not believe it! My Dad was the strongest man I ever met….how could this disease beat him? My Dad was so very smart…. how could he have missed the symptoms?
Devastated, my family was simply devastated. I was so upset, so angry and for the first time, I doubted my faith. That was in February 2006. I had to do something. I had to channel this anger and emotion. Dad would not want me to feel this way. I had to make a difference and I choose to Get My Rear in Gear.
March 2009 Get Your Rear in Gear Philadelphia was born. In just three short years, we have raised $425,000 to help fight colon cancer and get the message out about the importance of early detection through screenings.
I think Dad would be proud I got my Rear in Gear!
GRANTS in 2010
Funds for the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital help support leading-edge research in colon cancer and compassionate care in Philadelphia.
This program celebrates health and wellness at any age, in any form. Sponsored activities at the JAWS Youth Fund include free medical screening and exercise activities for the people of Philadelphia.
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