An award for people who overcome!

Sue Falco

Sue Falco, 1969-2016

This award is named in honor and memory of the race co-founder, motivator, and driving force of colon cancer awareness in Charlotte, N.C.

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Diagnosed at age 39 in 2008 with colorectal cancer, Sue promised herself in recovery that no matter the outcome, she would fight for other colorectal cancer patients. Her personal mission was to raise awareness of young onset colorectal cancer. She worked tirelessly each year planning Get Your Rear in Gear® – Charlotte and fundraising, even through her treatments, claiming this activity is what kept her motivated. Sue passed away on Jan 3, 2016, but her legacy and commitment to helping colorectal cancer survivors and their families lives on.

The Sue Falco Determination Award honors survivors who have overcome great physical adversity and through shear perseverance, and have met the challenges of living post cancer or other physical ailments head-on. Sue was an initial recipient in 2014 in recognition of her dedication to creating awareness of this disease and creating programs to help survivors and their families with personal support and financial aid. Past honorees include runners having completed a 10K, half marathons, and iron-mans while undergoing chemo or with an ostomy bag, patients who have spread the word with grace and good cheer about colorectal cancer and awareness, and people who continue to support and provide care for patients going through cancer, while educating the public, riding their Harley, and working with Congress in Washington, DC to bring more funding to colorectal cancer awareness.

We are looking for nominees for the 2024 award.

Do you or someone you know have a colon cancer comeback story? We encourage you to submit your story and inspire others! Apply by Saturday, March 16 at 10:00 p.m.

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Here are some past Determination Award Winners for inspiration:

Doc Mahaffey, Get Your Rear in Gear Charlotte Local Event Director

Doc Mahaffey (2016)

Doc was everything a Blue Ribbon Warrior should be. The glass was always half full, no matter how empty his cup appeared to be. He was a constant source of support for all members of the local colorectal support group despite what battles he was fighting.

Raising awareness, educating the public and time on his Harley were all at the top of his priority list. We were so very lucky to have him in our community.

Doc passed away in February 2017.

Jane T


Jane Taillon (2015)

At the age of 39 Jane was diagnosed with rectal cancer. She was determined to get through this life-changing event with the attitude of “get it done” by not letting this disease take over her very active life. She worked full time and remained active in her kids activities.

After treatment she was determined to spread the word about colorectal cancer. She never misses a chance to tell her story.



Jane Hutchko (2015)

Jane is a  spirited young woman who exemplifies a true Survivor. Diagnosed  with colon cancer in 2014 at the young age of  34, she remains a true motivator, putting others before herself. She mirrors determination in the way she carries herself and cares for others, patient and kind.

Her passion for colorectal cancer awareness is strong and she stays determined to make sure every survivor is aware.



Sassy Lojko (2015)

Sassy was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013. A lifelong athlete, she’s completed numerous road races, triathlons, and even an iron man! Her positive outlook and spirit was tested throughout her cancer story, but in the true Sassy way–she overcame, knocked down and plowed through those obstacles.

She is truly a remarkable coworker, leader and friend, inspiring others every day. 

Cindy Wise (2016)

At age 43, Cindy was diagnosed with invasive adenocarcinoma, and underwent a colectomy and 6 months of chemo. As an oncology nurse for 25 years, she is honored to work with cancer survivors and caregivers every day. She continuously shares the importance of knowing family history, talking to doctors and especially early detection, including colonoscopies.

Cindy feels blessed as a survivor and is always happy to share her journey with others who are newly diagnosed.