Get Your Rear in Gear!

GYRIG1Tucson Medical Center really got its rear in gear for Arizona’s first “Get Your Rear in Gear” event, building the largest team and serving as the top fundraiser to raise funds for colon cancer awareness.

More than 160 TMC employees (donated or) took part in the May 21 event at Reid Park, thanks in no small part to efforts by TMC’s Renee McAloney and Carla Michel, who served as the event’s key coordinators. McAloney was recognized as the event’s leading individual fundraiser and the TMC Employee C.A.R.E. Club also made significant contributions.

In all, the event raised $16,000 – nearly twice the original goal! The proceeds will stay in southern Arizona, to be put toward local colorectal education, grants and discounted screening services.

As colorectal-cancer survivors, McAloney and Michel are focused on educating people about getting screened. Colorectal is one of the most common and lethal forms of cancer. Early detection is crucial because the survival rate is 90 percent when it is caught in early stages. While the risks increase after age 50, about 10 percent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are younger than 50. A family history of the disease is also an important factor to discuss with your doctor.

Let’s be honest, this isn’t an easy discussion to have. Just talking about colorectal screening can be awkward and uncomfortable. The event organizers were not daunted by stigma. “I want to make a difference for the thousands of people in my community touched by colon cancer,” McAloney said. The efforts employed some clever humor with the slogan “What’s Up Your Butt?” Laughs and smiles helped cast stigma aside and encourage the conversation.

Carla and Renee credit many for making Get Your Rear in Gear a resounding success, especially Brianna Fierro, Toby Perham, Monty Hunsaker and Dr. Stefanie J. Schluender, who was the event’s keynote speaker and champion physician sponsor. They also credit the strong support from their friends and co-workers at Tucson Medical Center. “We always have our TMC family,” said Michel.

Although this year’s event is over, donations are still being accepted on the event’s website. McAloney and Michel plan to hold future Get Your Rear in Gear events, so please keep posted.

Take colorectal cancer seriously. Educate yourself, talk to your doctor, and get screened!

Learn more about:
Get Your Rear in Gear
Colorectal cancer
The event organizers

Additional resources:
American Cancer Society
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
American College of Gastroenterology

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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