March 2018: Colorectal Cancer Awareness Goes Coast to Coast
April 5, 2018 :: Author: Author: Anjelica (“Anjee”) Davis and Richard Wender, MD
Anjelica (“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 member of the steering committee.
Dr. Richard Wender is the Chief Cancer Control Officer of the American Cancer Society and the Chair of the NCCRT.
To say we were excited about March 2018 would be an understatement. After all, the last four years of our 80% by 2018 effort have been an incredible journey. Building off our award-winning collaboration from March 2017, this year the NCCRT joined Fight Colorectal Cancer and the American Cancer Society, with support from the Mayo Clinic, Exact Sciences, UPS, and others, to host Colorectal Cancer Screening Coast to Coast: Driving toward 80%. We decided to take our messages about the importance of screening on the road, and honestly, what creates more lasting memories than a great American road trip?
True to every great road trip, we made sure to travel to excellent destinations and to invite old and new friends to join us along the way. To really do this the right way – we of course needed a sweet ride.
Road Trip Requirement #1: Excellent Destinations
The NCCRT team made its way to Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Arizona; but the beauty of the effort was that events to promote colorectal cancer screening were taking place all around the country. We saw a wave of engagement from partners and colleagues wanting to ensure that March 2018 had the same energy and collaborative spirit that the 80% campaign has had from the beginning.
Partners across the nation were encouraged to submit their own local events to
populate the map above on the CRCCoast2Coast.org website.
From Anchorage, Alaska to Denver, Colorado, to Porter, Maine, the messages about colorectal cancer screening were shared coast to coast with creativity and passion. By the end of April, we’d marked 96 unique events that took place. Each destination was unique and the “stops” included a range of events: watch parties, state proclamation signings, lobby days, press briefings, radio interviews, state roundtable meetings, shining blue lights on buildings, bridges and skylines, health fairs and more!
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signs a CRC Awareness Month Proclamation
Stories and photos from these events keep pouring in. There are too many to post here, but we encourage you to check out the Twitter feed (hashtags #80by2018 and #CRCcoast2coast) to see what happened! If you hosted an event you’d like recognized, it’s not too late to post! To get it added to the map, email us the details and any photos. If you tweet about it and tag us (@NCCRTnews) we’ll be sure to share!
Road Trip Requirement #2: Friends, Old and New
We were energized to have survivors, celebrities, physicians, advocates, legislators, health professionals, and many others contribute time, stories, and passion to the cause.
So thankful for the chance to carry the #coloncancer message on Capitol Hill with @nascar @scottlagasse and @FightCRC @AnjeeDavis with ACG’s VP @MarkPochapin #conc2018 #80by18 #ColorectalCancerAwarenessMonth pic.twitter.com/gzFl1B8xct
— ACG (@AmCollegeGastro) March 20, 2018
Mystery date revealed!! I took @jimmykimmel to his first colonoscopy! Make sure to tune in to @JimmyKimmelLive tonight! https://t.co/GJ46yDY94q @SU2C pic.twitter.com/IwvHgGD4Tv — Katie Couric (@katiecouric) March 20, 2018
The blue carpet has been rolled out and here come the celebs and advocates! @FightCRC’s @AnjeeDavis, country 🎵 ⭐ @craigcampbelltv and @accesototal’s @chiquibabyLA are among the first to strike a pose as we kick off #CRCcoast2coast in sunny LA. #80by2018 pic.twitter.com/etDvPohrGA — Exact Sciences (@ExactSciences) March 8, 2018
Congressman Davis from Illinois shares his powerful story. His wife is a 19 year CRC survivor. Diagnosed at age 26. #ColorectalCancer can occur at any age. Don’t ignore symptoms! @FightCRC @ACSCAN #Coast2Coast #80by2018 pic.twitter.com/OBUnYW3P3p — Rich Wender (@RichWender) March 20, 2018
LA Kick-off Event – March 8 The kick-off event took place on March 8th at Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles, where partners came together to share stories about hope, emphasize the importance of screening, celebrate our progress, and look to the road ahead. The event featured survivors, partners, experts, and celebrity guests who we interviewed on a “blue carpet.” Stage IV survivor Teri Griege gave us messages about hope and stage II survivor Thomas Lopez shared a personal story about his son; actor Luke Perry made a quick virtual appearance (and got photo bombed by KJ Apa of Riverdale, the TV show in which the two star); country singer and Fight CRC national spokesman Craig Campbell serenaded us with a song he wrote for survivors; Telemundo star Stephanie “Chiquibaby” Himonidis delivered screening messages in Spanish; CDC’s Dr. Lisa Richardson talked about the importance of reaching people where they are; Katie Couric teased her mystery man colonoscopy date; and we all cheered for the 2018 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award winners.
Our messages about screening reached far more than those in attendance in Los Angeles. CRCCoast2Coast.org received over 2,300 website hits, the Blue Carpet pre-show and the CRC Coast to Coast live stream show gathered over 23,600 views and reached 69,500 people, collectively. The show was also shared far and wide by partners, such as Katie Couric, Stand Up to Cancer, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the American College of Gastroenterology(ACG), Telemundo star Chiquibaby, and many others. Getty Images came out to take editorial photos, and Telemundo aired a series of spots about colorectal cancer and colon health, following the show. All combined, our web and social media presence reached more than 9.7 million people and generated more than 103.3 million impressions. If you missed the live show, you can still watch the recorded broadcast or view the short highlights video below. We know we’ll be turning back to it for inspiration throughout the rest of 2018! But the work didn’t stop after March 8. Friends kept our momentum going throughout the entire month. Business leaders rang the opening bell for NASDAQ; survivors gathered in Washington, D.C. for a lobby day and hill briefing; public health leaders put up yard signs and blue lights all throughout Denver, CO neighborhoods; FQHC staff hosted a watch party in Porter, Maine. We truly went coast to coast! Road Trip Requirement #3: The Sweet Ride Finally, no road trip would be complete without the sweetest of rides. In fitting fashion, UPS, one of the latest—and among the largest—organizations to make a commitment to working toward the 80% screening goal, offered to put our colorectal cancer screening messaging on the side of a UPS truck., The truck was showcased at the two signature events in LA and D.C. We know the journey to 80% by 2018 does not end after March, we will keep driving toward 80% well after this year is done.
The Road Does Not End Here
Whether you celebrated with us in person, turned a city blue, or shared your own story of survivorship, your passion and dedication are making a difference and saving lives. We are grateful for you! Now, as our March 2018 travels become memories, we look ahead to the rest of 2018 rejuvenated and committed. Screening rates are going up; more than 150 health systems, clinics, and localities have reached 80%; hundreds more have seen their rates increase; and an additional 3.3 million more people were screened between 2014 and 2016. The progress we are making together is exciting; more and more organizations are joining this campaign by the day. And as Dr. Lisa Richardson reminded us during the Los Angeles broadcast, our work doesn’t end here. We’re not going to stop until all have a chance to benefit from the life-saving potential of screening. Let’s take this momentum and drive forward into the remainder of the year and beyond. Where will we be in March 2019? Live broadcasting from the moon? Let’s just say we’re not ruling it out…