First-time donation will help increase cancer screenings for uninsured New Yorkers
June 1, 2007 - (BRONX, NY) - Colon cancer survivors and their family members gathered today to present a check for $10,000 to the New York City Colon Cancer Screening Program for the Uninsured, which provides free colonoscopy screenings to uninsured New Yorkers. This first-ever donation represents a portion of the quarter million dollars raised at the 2007 Annual Colon Cancer Challenge Run/Walk in Central Park, held in March of this year. The event was held at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in the Bronx. Both Einstein and its University Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center, are founding sponsors of the Challenge.
"This donation - representing the hard work and sacrifice of these men and women - is a true expression of care and compassion for people battling colon cancer," said Dr. Thomas K. Weber, founder of the Colon Cancer Challenge and professor of surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and chief of surgery at Weiler Hospital/Montefiore Medical Center. "As the Colon Cancer Challenge grows every year, we become more successful in communicating our core message: that colon cancer is identifiable, treatable and beatable."
"This money will help us reach more uninsured New Yorkers, to make sure they get the advanced screening they need to successfully battle this disease," said Anne Faustin of the Colon Cancer Screening Program and Regional Vice President, the American Cancer Society. "We are grateful to Dr. Weber, the Colon Cancer Challenge and all of the fundraisers who worked so hard to make this donation possible."
Now in its fourth year, the Colon Cancer Screening Program operates in all five boroughs and provides free screening colonoscopies to uninsured New Yorkers, and free patient navigation services to cancer patients. In the first three years of the program, more than 3,000 screening colonoscopies were performed; over 600 pre-cancerous polyps were detected and removed; and 26 cancers were diagnosed, 18 of which were early stage.
"This generous contribution will advance our shared commitment to keeping New Yorkers healthy and cancer free by providing colonoscopies to the uninsured," said Joel Rivera, Chair of the New York City Council Health Committee. "Colon cancer shouldn't be the City's number two cancer killer. Strong partnerships to support preventive, innovative programs like this will make this sad statistic a thing of the past."
Also at the event, Joongho Shin, M.D., was presented with the 2007 Colon Cancer Challenge Research Scholar Award, given to a young investigator making significant contributions to colon cancer genetics research.
The Colon Cancer Challenge, an annual 1.7 mile Remembrance & Prevention Walk, a 4 mile run, and a 15K Run, was held this year in Central Park on Sunday, March 11th. As the premier colorectal cancer awareness event for metropolitan New York, it provides a unique opportunity for the public, survivors, friends and family to contribute to the fight against this preventable disease.