Through our Get Your Rear in Gear® event series, the Colon Cancer Coalition is dedicated to raising grassroots awareness around colorectal cancer, and supporting community members impacted. Every Get Your Rear in Gear event is locally run by volunteers. Funds raised stay local, and community leaders make connections with gastroenterologists, support groups, colorectal cancer survivors, patients, and caregivers to find out where the needs are in each community. These funds become grants for local initiatives to support quality of life for patients and survivors, colonoscopies for under and uninsured community members, public awareness and education about colorectal cancer, and research. Below is just one of thousands of stories on how these grants have made tangible impacts in the lives of these communities.
Kristin Lindquist, Colon Cancer Coalition founder, created Get Your Rear in Gear® after the loss of her sister, Susie Mjelde. These community events started in 2005 to raise awareness at a grassroots level and support colorectal cancer screening in local communities. Now, nearly 20 years later, almost 40 events are hosted annually across North America, and we’re continuing this mission with our passionate volunteer network.
Katie Robert, Local Event Director for Get Your Rear in Gear – New Hampshire, and Tania Centra, a dedicated volunteer, share an understanding of colorectal cancers impact. Katie’s mother, Janice, lived for ten years with colorectal cancer before passing away, and Tania’s father was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer in 2017, and passed away three years later.
“I realized too late that my dad had declined a colonoscopy for many years,” Tania told us in an email. “Even though he completed his FOBT test cards every year, even the year he was diagnosed, they were always negative. As an immigrant whose first language was not English, I realized he faced many barriers to colonoscopy.”
Tania’s a family nurse practitioner, and in 2020, continued her education at the University of New Hampshire as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). As part of her continuing education, Tania focused her quality improvement project on improving screening rates within Catholic Medical Center’s (CMC) Healthcare for the Homeless. “After my dad passed away, I decided to focus my DNP project on improving CRC screening rates in my community, especially within underserved populations”
Through her project, Tania recognized the major barriers to colorectal cancer screening: cost and prep.
Katie Robert, the Local Event Director for Get Your Rear in Gear – New Hampshire, told Tania about the Colon Cancer Coalition, and the grant funding available through the Get Your Rear in Gear event series for initiatives like the work at CMC Healthcare for the Homeless. Tania worked with the staff at CMC and applied for funds from Get Your Rear in Gear – New Hampshire..
“Approximately half of the patient population at CMC Healthcare for the Homeless are uninsured. The best CRC screening tests are very expensive, especially colonoscopy,” remarks Tania. “The grant provided to CMC will improve access to high quality screening or diagnostic testing for uninsured or underinsured patients.”
We’re thrilled to work with Tania and CMC Healthcare for the Homeless to provide test kits, colonoscopy prep, transit to and from screening for the patient and their support person, and overnight accommodations to help with the bowel prep process prior to any required colonoscopy. Grants like these save lives. Through the work of passionate volunteers like Tania, we support community-based efforts to help underserved communities get the care they need.
Thank you to Tania, Katie, and the CMC Healthcare for the Homeless team for their ongoing dedication and support!
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