Michael Sapienza

Profile picture of Michael Sapienza

Colorectal Cancer Alliance

Steering Committee, 2020-2024

Michael Sapienza is the Chief Executive Officer of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, the largest colon cancer advocacy group in the country. He lost his mother to colorectal cancer in May 2009. He turned his profound grief into action, inspiring and challenging the colorectal cancer community, family, friends, and professional associates to follow his lead and dedicate themselves to ending colorectal cancer within our lifetime—the mission of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. Michael founded The Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation and served as its President from 2010-2015. In 2016, he led the team that merged the Foundation and the Colon Cancer Alliance, creating the nation’s largest colon cancer specific nonprofit, which changed its name to Colorectal Cancer Alliance in 2017 to embrace both the colon and rectal cancer communities.

Over the last decade, Michael has become an expert and trusted voice on the topics of colorectal cancer prevention, patient care, and medical research. Michael regularly appears on TV and radio programs throughout the United States, including NBC’s TODAY show. He is frequently quoted in national publications such as USA Today, Newsweek, and The New York Times, promoting awareness and the importance of increased funding for colorectal cancer research and early detection. In 2022, Michael spearheaded a partnership with Maximum Effort, Ryan Reynolds’ marketing agency to build a new initiative called Lead From Behind. This new Alliance initiative has garnered over 3.5 billion media impressions.

Michael is a member of The Ruesch Center for the Cure of GI Cancer’s Advisory Board at Georgetown University, and in 2020 he was appointed to the President’s Cancer Panel and NCCRT’s 2021 Steering Committee. In 2014, Michael received three prestigious industry awards: David Jagelman, MD Award for advocacy in Colorectal Cancer Awareness by the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons; the Public Service Award from the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract; and the
Champion Award from Preventing Colorectal Cancer. In 2018, Michael was honored with a Luminary Award from OncLive and The Ruesch Center for his lifetime commitment to improving the lives of patients affected by gastrointestinal cancer.

Michael holds degrees from both Northwestern University and Rice University and currently resides in the District of Columbia.