Friday, March 1, 2013

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month / Night of Gratitude

Maybe it is just me, but the time really seems to be going by so quickly!  We are already into the third month of the New Year, the end of the second quarter of our fiscal year, and this past Wednesday was 31 years since my daughter, Teddi, the inspiration for Camp Good Days, lost her battle to cancer.  I continue to be amazed and honored everyday by the overwhelming legacy she has left and how much one little girl has impacted the lives of so many children, families, volunteers, and supporters – most of whom never had the opportunity to know her.


When Teddi passed away, I believed that there would no longer be the need for Camp Good Days some 31 years later, as I was sure that we would have found the answers to cancer by now, but that is unfortunately not the case.  In an effort to address the fact that we have still not found the answers, we established CANCER MISSION 2020…THE END OF CANCER BY THE END OF THE DECADE (  Through CANCER MISSION 2020, we have made some real progress, through Congressional District Cancer Summits, CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition Drives, and I am excited to share that Congressman Tom Reed is in the process of re-introducing CANCER MISSION 2020 Legislation into the House of Representatives. 


As many of you know, it was also through our work with CANCER MISSION 2020 that we learned that cancer is now the leading cause of death, here in Monroe County and last September, I, along with Dr. Byron Kennedy, Deputy Director of the Monroe County Department of Public Health presented the Action Plan to Reduce the Burden of Cancer in Monroe County, to Monroe County Executive, Maggie Brooks and more than 100 government, business, medical, and community leaders.  In November 2012, we focused on lung cancer, the number one cancer killer in Monroe County and this month we are focusing on colorectal cancer, the second leading cancer killer in our community. 


At a Press Conference held this morning, which is National Dress in Blue Day, at the TOPS Market on Winton Road, I joined local community leaders, Dr. Byron Kennedy, Deputy Director, Monroe County Department of Public Health; Matthew Flanigan, Regional Vice President, American Cancer Society; Candice Lucas, URMC Center for Community Health; Jeff Adair, President of the Monroe County Legislature; and Dana Miller, Vice President, Rochester City Council, to remind residents of Monroe County and the Greater Rochester area that March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. 


Deaths from colorectal cancer can be prevented through screening.  When colorectal cancer is diagnosed early, at the localized stage, the five-year survival rate is 90%. In some cases colorectal cancer can be prevented when precancerous polyps are removed during colonoscopies.

There are several different screening tests that can be used to find polyps or colorectal cancer. Each one can be used alone; sometimes they are used in combination. People should talk with their doctor about which test(s) is right for them and how often they should be tested. For those of average risk, screening tests usually begin at age 50.


Screening tests that can detect cancer and polyps include a colonoscopy; the flexible sigmoidoscopy; the virtual colonoscopy; and the double-contrast barium enema.  There are also screening tests that are less invasive, and may indicate cancer.The fecal immunochemical test (FIT), also called an immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT), is a newer kind of stool test that also detects occult (hidden) blood in the stool. This detection is important because it can be a sign of precancerous polyps or colon cancer. In addition to screening tests, some ways in which people can help to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer include: regular screening after 50 years of age; eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods; limiting the intake of high-fat foods, including red and processed meats; limiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages and tobacco use; being physically active with at least 30 minutes of exercise on four or more days of the week; maintaining a healthy weight; and knowing your family's cancer history.


There are a variety of activities taking place throughout the month, as part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.   


As part of CANCER MISSION 2020 we will host three CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition Drives at the local Department of Motor Vehicle locations.  The CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition Drives will take place on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 from 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM at the Greece Branch of DMV, located at Greece Ridge Center Mall (Entrance 2); on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 from 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM at the Irondequoit Branch of DMV, located in Titus Mall, 545 Titus Avenue; and on Thursday, March 7, 2013 from 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM at the Henrietta Branch of DMV, located in Suburban Plaza, 2199 East Henrietta Road. Department of Motor Vehicle customers and the general public are invited to stop by and sign the CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition. 


People may also sign the CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition online at and download hard copies of the petition as well. 


Jeff Calkins, General Manager of the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial has generously made a display case in the main lobby available for us to share information about the burden of cancer in Monroe County and National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month with local sporting and other special event attendees. 


In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the Cancer Services Program of Monroe County will be in four TOPS Markets locations, 450 West Avenue, 2345 Buffalo Road, 1900 S. Clinton Avenue, and 1100 Jefferson Road, on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 to give out FIT kits to those who are uninsured, as well as to share information with those who do have insurance.  TOPS Markets will have information available for customers throughout the month of March.  The Cancer Services Program is also conducting an extensive media campaign this month to generate awareness and share information about colorectal cancer.


Please take some time this month to do what you can to help reduce your chances and the chances of those you love and care about from being diagnosed with colorectal cancer and take a moment to visit the CANCER MISSION 2020 website, – you’ll find some exciting changes – sign the CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition and join us in this important effort to find the answers that have been alluding us.


As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, next Friday, March 8, 2013, we will host A Night of Gratitude, at the Rochester Plaza Hotel in Downtown Rochester, during which we will recognize the 2012 Teddi Award Winners and Ring of Honor Inductees. 


The Ring of Honor was established as part of Camp Good Days’ 25th Anniversary Celebration in 2004 and includes those who are selected for their outstanding dedication, commitment and support of the thousands of children and families served over the years. In addition to their award, inductee’s names will be included in the permanent Ring of Honor display, which is located at the Camp Good Days’ Recreational Facility, in Branchport, NY, for all to see.  The inductees for the Ring of Honor, being recognized at A Night of Gratitude are: Katie Bess; Maggie Brooks; Nancy Chestnut; Brian Cuvelier & Family; Monroe County District Attorney’s Office; Peter Formicola (posthumously); Aimee Gasparre; Rob & Tina Harter; Jerry Romanowski; Louise Slaughter; St. John Fisher College Football; Mark Soule; Walden Galleria Mall; Scott Vallow; Jayne Van Zile; Chris Van Zile-Stabins; and University of Rochester Football


The Teddi Award is one of the highest honors bestowed by Camp Good Days to those who have gone above and beyond within the past year, in helping to fulfill the mission of improving the quality of life for children, adults, and families whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life challenges.  The recipients of the Teddi Award are: Eliana Blatt; Travis Butchello; Campground Owners of New York; Canisius College Women’s Basketball; Annmarie Charo; Jerrod Church; Patrick & Suzanne Crough; Steve & Patty DiGennaro; Louie Donato; Joe Donato; Tony Donato; East Amherst Dental; Matt Elkins; Mark Gestring, MD; Otto Harnischfeger; Dave Henderson; Justin Jerzak; Lauren Keeler; Dave Petrie; Pittsford Dairy; Walter Sanders; Nikki Sepielli; Beth Shope; St. Luke’s Cookie Baking Ladies; and Vogue Salon & Day Spa.


We hope that you will help us in honoring and thanking all of our award recipients.  Tickets are still available for $30.00 per person and may be purchased by contacting Laura Osborn, here at the Camp Good Days’ Headquarters, 585-624-5555 or 800-785-2135, or via email,  You can also purchase tickets online, at 


Wishing everyone a safe and happy weekend and with our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation, we wish the very best to the students at Lansing High School in Ithaca who are hosting their Night of Life event this evening, and to all of the students at Fayetteville-Manlius who will dance the day and night away on Saturday, for the Fayetteville-Manlius Dance Marathon!