Colorectal cancer surgeon Janette Gaw hopes people will get behind her cause.

“It’s called Get Your Rear in Gear. It is a national run.”

On March 24th, Southwest Florida hosts a 5K run to benefit colorectal cancer, a disease that’s largely curable if caught.

“The good news about colonoscopies is that it can actually prevent cancers. If you have a colonoscopy you take out the polyps, technically you should not develop colon cancer,” says Dr. Gaw.

In this day and age, not everyone has insurance or can afford to pay for a colonoscopy. That’s why some of the proceeds from this race go towards leveling the playing field.

“There’s a lot of people out there that need this kind of help,” says John Cook.,
John being one of them. In 2007 he was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer. He is supposed to get annual colonoscopies now but money is tight.

“Blood tests is all I was really getting because I didn’t have insurance and I couldn’t afford to get scans,” says Cook.

A nurse suggested he seek a grant from the Get Your Rear in Gear proceeds.

“It had been two years since I had one and she said I’ll send you these forms you can apply for it,” says Cook.

John got the grant, underwent the colonoscopy, and got the all clear he was hoping for.

“The follow up is important because you want to know.”

He takes nothing in stride but later this month runners will as they take race to help others get a leg up.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we've been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

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