Blog Post

Countdown to 2018: Event Recap

Countdown to 2018: Event Recap

March 31st, 2017 :: Author: Author: Anjelica (“Anjee”) Davis and Richard Wender, MD

AnjeeDavisAnjelica (“Anjee”) Davis serves as President of Fight Colorectal Cancer, a national nonprofit founded in 2005. Ms. Davis co-chairs the NCCRT Public Awareness and Social Media Task Group, and is a past member of the steering committee (2009-2012).

RichardWenderDr. Richard Wender is the Chief Cancer Control Officer of the American Cancer Society and the Chair of the NCCRT.

As many of you know, earlier this month the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable joined Fight CRC, the American Cancer Society (ACS), Stand Up To Cancer, the Mayo Clinic, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Exact Sciences and many other partners, friends, celebrities, survivors and caregivers to host a live broadcast from the Hard Rock Café in New York City aimed at raising awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening. As March 2017 comes to a close, we thought you would enjoy this shared reflection about the event from NCCRT Chair Rich Wender and NCCRT Public Awareness Co-Chair, Anjee Davis.

A spectacular byproduct of setting an audacious goal like 80% by 2018 is collaboration. Bold goals tend to spark ideas, strengthen team efforts, and pool resources, so that together we can achieve great things. Across the country, we have seen 80% by 2018 partners work together and collaborate in their own communities to turn bridges and buildings blue, to screen more patients in practice, and to pitch in and figure out how we prevent our friends, families and neighbors from getting this disease. 80% by 2018 has shown us an amazing collective spirit – and to reflect that spirit, we joined together at the Hard Rock Café in New York City to host an event that put a spotlight on our shared efforts.

And something incredible happened. After a year-long collaboration, we saw an end-result that was better than any one group could have achieved alone. All the organizations involved were equally invested in the overall purpose and goal, and the event — the Countdown to 2018 — serves as a guidepost for our entire 80% by 2018 effort. It truly was a microcosm of what we’re seeing and achieving in thousands of communities across the country. Too many people have a personal connection to colon cancer, and yet, sustained, thoughtful collaboration, driven by determination and passion, can change the course of this disease. Our March 1st event harnessed our shared drive to catalyze real change – and it’s a pattern we are witnessing everywhere we go.

“Mayo Clinic was honored to be part of this exceptional event, which focused the energy of so many different groups on a common message: colorectal cancer screening saves lives.  Working together gives us the best chance to meet, or even better exceed, 80% by 2018!” — Paul Limburg, MD, Mayo Clinic

The event showcased quite an array of advocates for screening. Journalist Katie Couric, whose first husband died of colon cancer at age 42, and actor Luke Perry, whose best friend’s wife was diagnosed with the disease, interviewed celebrities, survivors and advocates involved in the fight against colorectal cancer. New and old friends — Broadway actress Karen Walsh, Blue Hat Foundation founder Candace Henley, NY1 news anchor Roma Torre, country music singer Craig Campbell, professional race car driver Scott Lagasse Jr. and Telemundo advocate for health and wellness, Jorge Bernal – all shared their stories and their perspectives. By sharing their stories, they made the call to action to get screened personal – they made it real.

“When we all stand together, and urge those who need to be screened to get screened, then colon cancer doesn’t stand a chance. Events, like the one on March 1st, really help reinforce that it’s possible to beat this disease.” — Katie Couric, co-founder of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance and Stand Up To Cancer

And perhaps the most satisfying reward of all is that our shared efforts are working. We’re seeing incredible gains in the screening rate, including nearly 4 million additional adults age 50 and older screened between 2013 2015 alone – which will mean 39,000 lives saved if we can keep the rate up. To show that our shared goal of an 80% percent screening rate can be done, we heard from our 2017 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award honorees. It takes perseverance and creativity, but it can be done.

Within 24 hours, received 1,000 hits, the live broadcast from the Fight CRC Facebook page (shared to the ACS Facebook page) gathered over 18,500 unique views, and over 1,800 engagements occurred across social media channels. All combined, the web and social media casts reached more than 100,000 people and generated 37.4 million impressions. If you missed the live show, you can still watch the recorded broadcast. We know we’ll be turning back to it for inspiration throughout 2017.

Scott Lagasse Jr. put it simply: “Get screened. It’s a day out of your life.” Thank you to all the partners that contributed to make this event such a success and to the advocates and champions who are making real gains in saving lives from colorectal cancer day in and day out. With our combined efforts, we are making history.


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