Two new inflatable colons triple the opportunities to raise awareness for colorectal cancer screening


New York City & Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In October 2018, the plight of a giant inflatable colon missing from a pick-up bed in Missouri captured the attention of the Twitterverse and beyond. The #stolencolon, a 10x12 walk-through educational tool used by the Colon Cancer Coalition to educate the public about the importance of screening for colorectal cancer, had disappeared in suburban Kansas City. Ten days later it was recovered, but not before donations of two new inflatable colons had been made. The generous gifts from Quest Diagnostics and the employees of Salix Pharmaceuticals will make their official public debut on Friday, March 1, kicking off Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Both organizations are hosting awareness events to show off the new colons and unveiling of the name chosen for each. Quest Diagnostics and Salix Pharmaceuticals are hosting events in Kansas City and New York City respectively, inviting the public to come tour the colon and learn more about the importance of screening for colorectal cancer, the nation’s No. 2 cancer killer for men and women combined.

Quest Diagnostics is opening their Lenexa, KS, laboratory (10101 Renner Blvd, Lenexa, KS) on Friday, March 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST, for tours of the new colon and to unveil the name voted on by their employees. It will then be off on its educational journey. A food truck will be on-site and all attendees are encouraged to wear blue.

“Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer for men and women combined in the United States, yet nearly one in three adults aged 45 to 75 have not been screened as 2018 American Cancer Society Guidelines recommend,” said Jay Wohlgemuth, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Research & Development for Quest Diagnostics. “That is why Quest Diagnostics, a leading provider of colorectal cancer screening and diagnostic services for individuals, and as part of employer wellness programs, was proud to contribute to the replacement of the Colon Cancer Coalition’s #stolencolon, a teaching tool that drives awareness for colorectal cancer screening.”

In New York City, the inflated colon, donated by the employees of Salix Pharmaceuticals, will be set up in Herald Square Park from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, educating passers-by about the signs and symptoms of the disease and the importance of colonoscopy screenings.

“We were devastated when we thought we had lost such a valuable educational tool,” says Anne Carlson, president of the Colon Cancer Coalition. “But our beloved #stolencolon did its job - starting conversations and raising awareness. The donation of these two additional inflatable colons from Quest Diagnostics and the employees of Salix Pharmaceuticals will help us continue this outreach and bring this unique educational tool to even more people.”

These two new inflatable colons will be used across the country at the Coalition’s signature Get Your Rear in Gear events, as well as other awareness opportunities. Organizations interested in hosting an inflatable colon at their location can contact the Colon Cancer Coalition at 952-378-1237 or coloncancercoalition.org/stolencolon to discuss availability and scheduling.

About the #StolenColonThe #stolencolon was purchased in 2017 by the Colon Cancer Coalition through funds raised at Get Your Rear in Gear – Kansas City. This educational tool remains at the University of Kansas Cancer Center and is used around Kansas City and at events across the country to educate the public about the importance of screening. On Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, it was reported stolen from a pick-up truck bed in suburban Kansas City while waiting to be transported to a cancer walk that weekend. Thanks to an anonymous tip, the #stolencolon was recovered from a vacant lot by the Kansas City (MO) Police Department on Monday, Oct. 29. In the 10 days it was missing, and in the days and weeks that followed, the #stolencolon saga was shared on social media and online thousands of times, reaching nearly 1 billion people across the globe with the important message of life-saving screening for colon and rectal cancer.

About the Colon Cancer Coalition / Get Your Rear in Gear®The Colon Cancer Coalition is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, Minn. dedicated to encouraging screening and raising awareness of colorectal cancer. The organization’s signature Get Your Rear in Gear® and Tour de Tush® event series are volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. Money raised at these events are granted back into local communities to help will build and sustain programs and research encouraging early prevention, screening, and patient support for this disease. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of the everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit ColonCancerCoalition.org.

About Quest DiagnosticsQuest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our 46,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

Quest Diagnostics is a leader in Health and Wellness services that improve outcomes and costs for employers and their employees. The company combines data-driven population management based on its proprietary Blueprint for Wellness® laboratory and biometric screening with integrated access to intervention providers, supporting employees on the continuum of care to better health. For more information, visit www.QuestForHealth.com.

About Salix PharmaceuticalsSalix Pharmaceuticals is one of the largest specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world committed to the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For 30 years, Salix has licensed, developed, and marketed innovative products to improve patients' lives and arm healthcare providers with life-changing solutions for many chronic and debilitating conditions. Salix currently markets its product line to U.S. healthcare providers through an expanded sales force that focuses on gastroenterology, hepatology, pain specialists, and primary care. Salix is headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey.


In October 2018 the Colon Cancer Coalition's inflatable colon was stolen from the bed of a pick-up truck in suburban Kansas City. It was recovered 10 days later. New inflatable colons were donated by Quest Diagnostics and the employees of Salix Pharmaceuticals to help expand the awareness efforts the valuable educational too. The two companies are debuting the new colons on Friday, March 1, to kick off Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

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