Don't Be Left Behind, Prevent Colon Cancer BEFORE It Starts
Colonosocopies Save Lives
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January, 2021                                 

Happy New Year! I hope you are all staying safe and healthy as we make our way into 2021, and are closing in on a full year of life in a pandemic. It has been a year of uncertainty and for many, perhaps, fear. It has also been a time of changes in how businesses and organizations operate, including non-profit organizations like GCCCF. Since we have been unable to physically go out in the community to share education about the signs and symptoms of colon cancer, as well as the importance of screenings, we have transitioned to much more of an electronic approach to outreach and support. This has included utilizing our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates, messaging, giving online support options, and education. However, we are concerned that our connection with our survivors, caregivers, and the community in general is weakening, and we don't want that to happen. With that in mind, we will be intentionally working to reach out more frequently via email. We will continue to send out the quarterly newsletter, but will also be sending out information and updates in between newsletter distribution. We hope you will find this helpful, and that you feel supported as we continue to navigate our way through 2021.

Stay safe and stay well!

In good health,
Kayse Rigsby
Executive Director




Rump Run Postponed to 2022 and We Hope to See YOU!

Unfortunately, we have been made aware that all events at Enterprise South

Nature Park have been cancelled for 2021, including the Rump Run in

March. Therefore, the GCCCF board voted to POSTPONE the event once again.

Our hope is, by waiting until 2022, we can safely hold the 10th annual Rump Run

with all of our survivors, sponsors, and participants able to join us in person. At

the time of the original postponement last March, we already had almost 400

people signed up for the event, including 24 teams - that's incredible! All of those

registrations and donations will be transferred to the March, 2022 date, which will

be confirmed and communicated at a later time. We are so sorry not to be able to

Rump Run for a second time, but hope to see you all in 2022!

 Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2019 (H.R. 1570/S. 668)

The Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2019 (H.R. 1570/S. 668), sponsored by US Representatives Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Donald McEachin (D-VA) and David McKinley (R-WV) in the House of Representatives and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate, works to correct an oversight in current law that requires Medicare beneficiaries to cover the cost of their copayment for a “free” screening colonoscopy if a polyp is discovered and removed during the procedure.


  • According to the American Cancer Society, deaths from colorectal cancer have been declining for more than two decades, mostly because of screenings, including colonoscopies and other tests.

  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines call for individuals of average risk of colon cancer between the ages of 50 and 75 to be screened, but only about half in the US are screened as recommended.

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colon cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among nonsmokers. The CDC estimates that if all precancerous polyps were identified and removed before becoming cancerous, the number of new colorectal cancer cases could be reduced by 76 to 90 percent.


  • Under current law, Medicare waives coinsurance and deductibles for colonoscopies. When a polyp is discovered and removed, the procedure is reclassified as therapeutic for Medicare billing purposes and patients are required to pay the coinsurance. This bill would eliminate unexpected costs for Medicare beneficiaries when a polyp is discovered and removed, ensuring that unexpected copays do not deter a patient from having the screening performed.

  • By eliminating financial barriers, this legislation would attain higher screening rates and reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer.

Preventive care services allow medical problems to be discovered and treated earlier, saving money for Medicare, insurers and patients, and, more importantly, saving lives. Colorectal cancer is a preventable disease. Nevertheless, it continues to kill 50,000 Americans each year.


Click to find out how you can go #ColdForACure in 2021!

Online Support Options

If you are currently, or have ever gone through treatment for colon cancer, we want to offer you support options. While many physical support group opportunities are not available right now, we have compiled a list of online support we hope you find helpful.

Several national organizations have online topics and support groups pertinent to survivors, and issues they may be facing. There are also blogs written by other survivors that may be helpful. Check out these links:

There are also several closed, private groups on Facebook which can be joined, and they are listed below.
  • Colon Cancer Support Group
  • Colontown Communities - there are lots of these pages, each based on your search criteria. See the link for the Colontown Online Community above for more information.
  • Colon Cancer Support Group - No1 Fights Alone has a podcast dealing specifically with fear of recurrence, which can be found here

Locally, Memorial Hospital has a webpage dedicated to cancer support. Click here and scroll down the page to find information on their monthly colon cancer support group, an empowerment video series for survivors, and a video created by their dieticians, specifically addressing diet and exercise.  
Are you willing to share how colon cancer has impacted your life? Please contact us and let us know!
GCCCF was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Chris Ramsey, due to complications of COVID-19. Chris was passionate about breaking down barriers to healthcare in the Chattanooga area, and was a huge advocate for medical access in the minority communities. He was a member of the GCCCF Outreach Committee, and was instrumental in helping us get involved in the annual Minority Health Fair, as well as connecting us with other minority outreach opportunities. He will will be greatly missed, not only by the GCCCF team, but by many others in and around Chattanooga. 
Thank You To Our Sponsors!
We appreciate your support now more than ever!

Diagnostic Imaging Consultants
      Hearth Hospice
         Suntrust, Now Truist
Wright Brother's Construction
     Law Offices of Yates and Wheland

Working with community partners, GCCCF will raise awareness, provide education and support, and accelerate community understanding that colon and rectal cancers are preventable, treatable, and beatable. 

Colon Cancer Resources

Colorectal Cancer Alliance

American Cancer Society

Colontown Online Community (Facebook)

Fight Colorectal Cancer


Remember a loved one or honor your friends and relatives by donating in their name to GCCCF. Your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please make your check payable to the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation, and return it with the form provided below, or simply click the button below to donate online.

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GCCCF Board of Directors

Chair - Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero, MD
President - Thomas Brien, MD
Vice-President - Marshall Horton, MD
Secretary - Kim Shank, RN
Treasurer - Jones Krogh

Directors at Large

Christie Burbank 
Tanner Goodrich
Michael Howard
Helen Pinkerton
Craig Sarine

Alison Sexter

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