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Local

Get Your Rear in Gear in Ladd

Outpatient Lori Guerrini checks out one of the new notebook computers at the Illinois Cancer Care facility in Peru. Also pictured are Lee Thompson (from left) and Jeff Borelli, both of Connecting Point; Dr. Greg Gerstner; Rebecca Whitmer, RN; and Kathy Martin. The computers were purchased with the proceeds of the 2011 Get Your Rear in Gear event, organized by Martin. The 2012 event is May 26.
Outpatient Lori Guerrini checks out one of the new notebook computers at the Illinois Cancer Care facility in Peru. Also pictured are Lee Thompson (from left) and Jeff Borelli, both of Connecting Point; Dr. Greg Gerstner; Rebecca Whitmer, RN; and Kathy Martin. The computers were purchased with the proceeds of the 2011 Get Your Rear in Gear event, organized by Martin. The 2012 event is May 26.

LADD — On the alphabetical list of scheduled events on the Get Your Rear in Gear (GYRIG) website, Ladd is nestled between Kansas City, Mo., and Memphis, Tenn.

“It is by far the smallest town to host a GYRIG event, but it is the one with biggest heart,” said event coordinator Kathy Martin.

On May 26, Ladd will hold its third annual Get Your Rear in Gear 5K race, one of nearly 50 such events to be held across the country in 2012. Get Your Rear in Gear events are hosted by the Colon Cancer Coalition and designed to empower local communities by bringing awareness to colorectal cancer, provide support to those affected, and send a message for all to take charge of their own health.

Ladd’s first event was held in 2010, the creation of Martin and her family and friends.

Martin is a colon cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in October 2008, and she and her family and friends attended a GYRIG event in Chicago in 2009.

Martin was inspired to create an event in Ladd, and she said the first two events have been great successes. Hundreds of people attended each event, and she has high hopes for this year’s event.

“Hopefully we’ll have 1,000 this year,” she said.

Martin was out earlier this week dispersing some of the proceeds of last year’s event. GYRIG events are held across the country, and funds raised at each event stay in the community where they are raised to assist any cancer patients in their efforts to recover from cancer.

Locally, the Colon Cancer Coalition awarded the Illinois Cancer Care — Peru facility 12 notebook computers, a charging station and wireless access through Connecting Point for one year.

Martin said the notebook computers are available for use by anyone receiving treatment at the Cancer Center, regardless of the cancer the patient is affected with. Individual headsets are given to each patient for their personal use during treatment and during treatment days; the patients can access the Internet, watch movies or play games.

Also reaping the benefit of Ladd’s event was the Illinois Valley YMCA, which was awarded a grant for $5,000 for personal training sessions for 50 former or current cancer patients.

This year’s event will be held at 10 a.m. May 26 at the Ladd Community Center, (formerly St. Benedict’s Church Hall), located at 303 S. Central Ave. in Ladd. Other than two events in the Chicago area, it’s the only event scheduled for Illinois this year.

Pre-registration fees are $25 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. After May 23, the price is $30 for adults and $15 for children. Participants are also encouraged to form a team of 10 or more participants to support a loved one, raise funds or just to share the excitement on race day.

Information can be found at www.getyourrearingear.com or by contacting Martin at kmartingyrig@@hotmail.com.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

Coln cancer facts

• Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death (behind lung cancer) in the United States.

• Colorectal cancer affects men and women equally, and people of all races and nationalities.

• In 2010, 142,570 new cases were diagnosed, and 51,370 people died from colorectal cancer in the United States, one person about every nine minutes.

• When colorectal cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. However, when the cancer is not diagnosed until a late stage, the five-year survival rate is only 10 percent.

• According to the American Cancer Society, men and women should begin screening for colon cancer at age 50. If the entire population was screened at the age of 50, the number of colorectal cancer-related deaths could be cut in half.

• While most people diagnosed with colon cancer have no family history of the disease, those with a family history of the disease should begin screening at an earlier age, based on the advice of their health care provider.

• Often those who are diagnosed with colon cancer have experienced no signs or symptoms associated with the disease.

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