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MUSCATINE, Iowa — More than 300 runners, walkers, volunteers, colon cancer survivors, and caregivers are expected to join together in the first against the nation’s number two cancer killer, colon cancer.

“Get Your Rear In Gear® - Muscatine” is a family-friendly 5K run/walk at Discovery Park, planned to raise awareness and encourage screening for this largely preventable cancer.

Get Your Rear in Gear offers opportunities for celebration of survivors, support for caregivers, and remembrance of those who left us too soon. This race is planned by local volunteers with help from the Colon Cancer Coalition, a national organization that hosts nearly 50 events across the country to educate and raise funds for colon cancer screening and prevention.

Ashley Loveless is taking the reins for Get Your Rear in Gear - Muscatine this year. Previous local event director Bryan Fessier led the event since 2011 in memory of his wife, Ellen. Loveless, a Muscatine-native and Wellness Coordinator at Trinity Hospital in Muscatine, got involved to honor her father’s hard fight with colon cancer and looks forward to continuing the tradition Brian built.

“I am honored to head Get Your Rear in Gear – Muscatine this year,” said Loveless. “I am proud that we are able to continue supporting the Rear in Gear Colon Cancer Screening Fund at Trinity Hospital. I believe that by talking openly about colon health and the importance of colon cancer screening, more lives can be saved.”

“We know how to detect and prevent colon cancer when it is discovered in its earliest and most treatable stages,” Anne Carlson, executive director for the Colon Cancer Coalition, said. “By funding programs like the Colon Cancer Screening Fund at Trinity Muscatine, we look to prevent this disease before it happens. The colorectal cancer screening rates in Iowa sits at 66 percent. This means nearly 35 percent of local residents eligible for screening are not being proactive and taking care of their health. By working with partners in the Muscatine area, we hope to encourage change and increase the local rates to at least 80 percent by the year 2018.”

Just the facts about colon cancer:

  • One in 20 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer during their lifetime.
  • 9 out of 10 patients will survive 5+ years when colon cancer is caught in early (localized) stages.
  • Screening for colon cancer should start at age 50, earlier for some ethnic groups and those with family history.
  • The Journal of the American Medical Association estimates a 90 percent increase in colon cancer and a 124 percent increase in rectal cancer diagnoses in young people by 2030.

The money raised at this event will stay in Muscatine to fund the Get Your Rear in Gear Colon Cancer Screening program at Trinity Hospital in Muscatine. To date over 120 local under- or uninsured people have received colon cancer screening through this program.

Saturday celebrates the sixth year of Get Your Rear in Gear in Muscatine. The 5K run/walk begins at 8:30 a.m. through Discovery Park. Registration information is available online at coloncancercoalition.org/Muscatine. Information about volunteering, sponsoring an event or forming a team is also posted on the website.

Local sponsors include UnityPoint Health – Trinity Hospital, Doug and Cindy Dawson, Genentech, Block Hawn Builders, and Kent Corporation. A complete list of sponsors can be found on the website.

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