Long Branch: The Colon Cancer Alliance, in conjunction with: Saint Barnabas Health Care System, Meridian Health, Dulcolax, Salix, Genetech, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Clif Bar, Honest Tea, Saker Shop Rite, Bayer, and Investors Savings Bank teamed up to sponsor the annual Undy 5000 Family Fun Run and Walk at Pier Village in Long Branch.
Prior to the event, individuals and teams could register on the website (www.undy5k.com) to both memorialize those lost to Colon Cancer and raise funds for Colon Cancer awareness. Teams and individuals helped to raise over $60,000 for Colon Cancer awareness.
Registration for the Undy 5k started at approximately 7:00am. Once again, the great lawn was host to the larger then life, inflatable, walk-through colon. This inflatable was used as a teaching tool to show the multiple stages of colon health. Many participants were seen walking through the attraction and taking pictures both inside and around it.
Around 8:00am the 1-mile walk or the 5k fun-run began. Participants took a little over an hour to walk or run the beachfront course.
After completing the challenge, those that stayed gathered in the auditorium for a brief ceremony to honor Colon Cancer survivors. Additionally, awards were given out for both team and individuals who helped to raise both money and awareness for the cause.
It is estimated that 140,000 new cases of Colon Cancer are diagnosed each year. Polyp removal is the first, and most effective, form of Colon Cancer prevention. If caught in the early stages, Colon Cancer is fully curable; however, the stigma associated with the symptoms of this disease often are not reported or diagnosed in time.
Once again, Meghan Ingstrup and family were present and were recognized for their fund raising efforts. Team Fight Like the Moose is participating in their third Undy 5k walk. Both Meghan and her dad, Bruce Marich, stress the importance of being aware of the symptoms of Colon Cancer as they start.
Jane Iturrino, who organized team Fight Like the Lyon in remembrance of Robert Lyon Hayde of Oceanport was unaware that her father had any symptoms of Colon Cancer. Mrs. Iturrino also stressed the importance of preventative screenings, knowing your family history and knowing when something is wrong with your body. Had her father had been screened for Colon Cancer he may still be alive today.
Members from the Red Bank Gastroenterology Group also participated in the event and added that to “prevent, treat, and beat” Colon Cancer, you need to get screened based on familial history. It is suggested that everyone gets tested for Colon Cancer by the time they are 50 years old; however, if there is a familial history of gastrointestinal issues, one should seek preventative testing by age 40.
To learn more about Colon Cancer awareness or the Undy 5000 Series, please visit www.undy5k.org. There you can make a donation, volunteer for upcoming events, or learn more about Colon Cancer.