Help increase screening and prevention for colon & rectal cancer.


Team Blue Shield Shares Why They’re Participating in the Tour de Tush!

By April 25, 2023Featured Articles

Team Blue Shield of California joined us for the third annual Tour de Tush, and have quickly become one of our top company fundraising teams! Team Captain Norm Cohen and team member Saffy Johnson shared with us why they got involved with Tour de Tush:

Norm Cohen: I have been blessed with good health as well as a recently re-discovered passion for cycling. Sheltering during the COVID pandemic resulted in me becoming avid cyclist. As both a cyclist and community minded person, I am always delighted to find ways to add meaning to the many miles I put in.

Throughout the year, I will ride for a variety of causes. When I saw Tour de Tush, I was reminded of recent articles about the sudden rise in colorectal cancer. How could I not sign-up! As a cycling representative of Blue Shield of California, I am happy to rally my co-workers to the cause.

As one of the few non-profit health insurers, we take a keen interest in the communities we serve and their health. Raising awareness and funds to support research in the battle with colorectal cancer is a no-brainer for us, this sort of involvement is part of the DNA of our corporate philosophy and culture.

Saffy and her family

Saffy Johnson: My mother had colon cancer. Eleven years ago, my mother went to an emergency room because she wasn’t feeling well and her doctors told her to come back because they noticed something on her colon. She never returned back to the hospital. Five years later she ended up back in the hospital due to having issues with bowel movements and seeing blood in her stool constantly. It was discovered that she had stage 4 colon cancer that had   metastasized to her liver. Parts of her colon were removed and she started chemo. She ended up losing her battle with cancer in December of 2020. Cancer runs in my family as my grandmother had breast cancer and my aunt also had colon cancer. Due to my mom’s diagnosis in 2018, our family became better advocates for their care.

My mother’s diagnosis may have saved my mom’s sister-in-law’s life as polyps were found in her colon. My mother’s colon cancer story has caused me to be a much more compassionate person and truly understand that sometimes the reasons why we don’t get screened is simply because of fear.

By having these necessary conversations we need with our love ones brings the reality of why screenings are important. These conversations give the ability for us to rise above our fear. I also tell her story as a reminder of the consequences of being scared and that people have more support than they think they do.

Last month would have been my mother’s 64th birthday and I ride for those we have lost due to colon cancers, the ones that are facing it right now, and the ones that have survived hoping that one day we can celebrate more birthdays with them.

Join Norm and Saffy, and donate to Tour de Tush today! All proceeds benefit early onset colorectal cancer research. 


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