The Giant Colon stops in Calgary

The Giant Colon was one of the major exhibitors at the 1st Annual Calgary Zoomer Show on April 6th and 7th. Thousands of friendly Calgarians passed through the interactive exhibit. The CCAC received much praise from visitors on our unique awareness efforts.

CSGN Canada West Director Connie Wescott and colon cancer survivor Dave Dalen joined CCAC staff members Dave Black and Frank Pitman to greet the visitors and provide information on crc screening and patient support. Thank you Calgary for your Western hospitality.

Jen’s Booty Banter: To Carb or Not to Carb

If you’re like this pooping princess, despite all efforts, you are likely going to over-indulge over the holidays. Let’s be honest. That’s part of the season. But as you gear up to shed holiday pounds, you may look at cutting carbs. Don’t. Every part of you needs them but in that weight loss quest, many people view them as the Dark Side. They are wrong. In fact, very wrong. Drastically cutting carbs means you’ll miss out on the nutritional benefits of whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, and legumes, according to the Dietitians of Canada. And all those foods are critical in staying regular. Sure, cutting carbs might help you shed pounds in the short term, but that’s really because you are eating less food and fewer calories. Furthermore, if you cut them out, when you add them back in, which you will do eventually, stats show you will likely pack the pounds back on. So why cut them out in the first place? Just embrace them.

The REAL question is what KIND of carbs to eat because there are good carbs and there are bad carbs. An easy rule to follow is to stay away from high-sugar foods. Take a look at food labels. Anything that has a lot of sugar will have a lot of carbs. Those are the bad ones and do nothing for you. Frankly, stick to Canada’s Food Guide and you can’t go wrong.

One question that has plagued this pooping princess is how many carbs are enough? It all depends on your level of activity (if you work out a lot, you’ll need more), but for the average person, 2-3 grams of carbs per body pound ought to do the trick. So, for example, a 130-pound person should take in between 260 and 300 grams per day.

How does that convert into food choices? Well, your average pasta portion will yield roughly 65 grams of good carbs, two pieces of whole wheat toast have about 39 grams of carbs, an apple has roughly 20 grams and one cup of chick peas has 36 grams. But remember these are GOOD carbs for your butt. Compare that to a can of pop (full of sugar and bad carbs.) It weighs in with roughly 40 grams of useless carbs.

But there are times when this pooping princess craves those bad carbs. Here’s a tip. Before woofing down junk food, hit the hay. Turns out if you’re craving bad carbs, you may need more sleep. The Mayo Clinic says adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of it. When you don’t, your body looks for a caloric hit to get it through, which may make you eat more and more of the wrong foods — ie. high sugar/bad carbs — than if you were well-rested.

The bottom line here is, good carbs are your friend. Go ahead, eat that oatmeal with impunity.

Jennifer Hartley is a features writer and copy editor for Ottawa Life Magazine and writer for Ottawa Outdoors Magazine. Previously she was theatre editor for Ottawa Xpress and now defunct Metro newspaper and has written articles for a variety of magazines across the country and abroad in the United Kingdom.


strong>Fashion and Fundraising unite at the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada’s (CCAC) annual gala

Fashion lovers and CCAC supporters are invited to come together once again in celebration of the wonderful work accomplished by the association during 2012. As distinguished guests flock into Le Windsor on November 6, they will be immersed in a world of Glamour and Couture, where fashion will be transformed into a pure sensory experience to benefit the CCAC’s many initiatives in Quebec and across the country.

The event consists of a cocktail dînatoire, live and silent auction and a European style fashion show, compiled by Artistic Director Hans Koechling and will feature Montreal’s exciting new luxury fashion house PAVONI, whose line inspiration fittingly derives from the peacock, long recognized as the embodiment and symbol of elegance. Models will also be wearing beautiful jewelry by ANZIE and shoes by Browns.

While renowned Quebec media figure Anne Marie Withenshaw will be the host of the gala, other prominent attendees include, Olympic gold-medal short track speed skater François-Louis Tremblay, whose mother is a colorectal cancer survivor.

“I am thrilled to be a part of such luxurious and worthwhile event. The CCAC plays such an integral role in the lives of Canadian colorectal cancer patients and their families and this event is one of the many ways supporters can help raise funds to fight, treat and eventually beat this horrible yet preventable disease,” said Withenshaw.

Preventing colon cancer, prolonging the lives of those touched by it, supporting patients and their families as they cope with the challenges of this disease and ensuring that patients have timely access to the most effective treatments are just a few examples of what the CCAC accomplishes daily.

“Our awareness and education programs ensure not only that more people are aware of the disease, but that more men and women are screened for it. The number of patients that we can provide information and offer support increases annually. It is through the generosity of supporters at events such as the gala that we are able to continue to make a difference every single day,” Barry Stein, CCAC President.

Major sponsors for the event currently include; our platinum sponsor INTACT, silver sponsor BAYER, Dairy Farmers of Canada, CN, MNP, Raymond James and Disaronno.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $375 and a group of 10 is 3,250$. For more information, sponsorship opportunities, purchase program advertising space or to reserve tickets, visit www.colorectal-cancer.ca/gala2k12/ or contact our offices at 514.875.7745.

Jen’s Booty Banter: The Travelling Ass

The Alps in Slovenia. You won’t see this on any bus tour. Get your butt moving!

There is nothing like hitting the road. Whether you hop on a plane or put the pedal to the metal, the excitement of seeing new places and the feeling of total freedom are unbeatable. But travels can leave our poor colons screaming, so desperate you would even consider taking a hit of Ex Lax to hit the loo (don’t do it). Exercise deficit, diet changes, dehydration mixed with time zone changes definitely can take their toll down there. This summer I had it all. I was the travelling ass. I drove to the East Coast of Canada, travelled to the States and then flew to Slovenia. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? But there is always a price to be paid. You’d think I would know better than to deviate from the tried and true. After all, I am the pooping princess. Travelling Ass? No, I was the travelling dumbass. I threw caution to the wind. Bring on the strudel, bring on those yummy Euro cheeses and charcuterie plates I gleefully yelled. Vegetables? What are they? I asked. I am on holiday. Big mistake.

Prevent a travelling ass pooping war with your butt. I am going to sound like a broken record here, but at all costs, try to get some exercise and eat those veggies and drink tons of water. Road trip? Pack a cooler with veggie snacks and avoid the timbits (like I am one to talk on that one… but still, you get my point.) Carrots, celery, cucumber, whole wheat crackers, prunes (they work like a charm to keep you going) are good options. Pack a few baggies of those butt-friendly snacks if you are flying (without dips or liquids as they won’t let you bring those onboard). Heading overseas? There are usually fruit and veggie stands everywhere. Hit them first before the patisseries or the cheese tray. And drink lots of water. Dehydration can be cruel to your butt.

And above all, keep that ass moving. Embrace the opportunity to get out there and enjoy your scenery, wherever you are. Use a tour guide book and your feet to explore a new place instead of a tour guide bus. Or grab a bike and cycle. Not only will your butt thank you, you’ll find nooks and secret places no bus will take you. Or try kayaking or canoeing if you are near a lake and soak up the last bit of summer. Most places have kayak or canoe rental businesses, including Europe. I did it in Slovenia. Swim. It is easy on your body, is refreshing and uses most of your muscle groups. Find a hotel with a pool or scope out a lake or a river (if you do head to Slovenia, check out River Kolpa.) As for me, I usually run to keep things moving. And when I finally did lace up, you know what happened? I saw amazing places (including the Alps in Slovenia— the whole country is paradise. www.slovenia.info) and had a good visit with the porcelain god. And life just seemed so much better.

Jennifer Hartley is a features writer and copy editor for Ottawa Life Magazine and writer for Ottawa Outdoors Magazine. Previously she was theatre editor for Ottawa Xpress and now defunct Metro newspaper and has written articles for a variety of magazines across the country and abroad in the United Kingdom.

Make Your Purchases Count For the CCAC

Imagine earning a free donation for the CCAC every time you shop or buy something online. Well this is now possible though our partnership with We-Care.com. When you download the free We-Care.com app or visit our online mall you’ll earn a donation every time you spend at over 2,000 participating merchants, including: Amazon, Travelocity, Macy’s, H&R Block, Netflix, and 1-800 Flowers.

It only takes a moment to download the We-Care.com app onto your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome), and once installed, you’ll be notified anytime you visit a website where your purchase is eligible to earn a free donation. This way, you’ll know every time a percentage of your purchase is going to a good cause – it’s that easy!

Donations range from 0-15% of the purchase price, depending on the merchant. Get started and join nearly 3 million others shopping with purpose!

1. Download (ccac.we-care.com/start)
The CCAC is completely FREE and allows you to earn donations when you shop at over 2,000 participating merchants.

2. Shop
Browse and shop the web as you normally would. Anytime you see our app reminder, you are eligible for a free donation with purchase.

3. Donate for FREE
With our App installed a percentage of what you spend at participating online merchants is automatically returned to us as a donation.


Want to take it a step further? Why not register to track your donations, and hear about exclusive deals and coupons!
Register at: CCAC.We-Care.com/GetStarted

Survivor Series: “I never dreamed that I’d spend so much time talking about bowel movements!”

Photo Credit - Winnipeg Free Press

My name is Sid Chapnick; I am a stage 2 rectal cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in 2007 and undergoing chemotherapy (xeloda) and radiation treatment.

I’d like to invite you to attend the 5th Annual Kick Butt Walk or Run for Colorectal Cancer and also say how thrilled I am to be invited to tell you a bit about my back-story.

The story began nearly 5 years ago at my first CancerCare Manitoba support group meeting. Kick Butt was born when I happened to mention that I had been a runner since before the first Manitoba Marathon was run in 1979 and I ran 3 half-marathons in 2006. I casually commented that I had never heard of a walk or run for colorectal cancer and I wanted to organize a run to help raise awareness about the disease.

My first co-chair the late Kai Arnot was quite a Pistol; she was the kind of woman you couldn’t say no to! As soon as I walked into that first meeting at CancerCare she handed me a Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada folder as well as a blue colorectal cancer pin. Then, in her take-charge manner, she phoned me up the next day to say she would help me organize the run. That first run surprised us with 200 participants donating $25,000 to CCAC for use in Manitoba.

Don Hutton was another go-getter who worked hard as both my co-chair and Sponsorship chair. Don devoted his battle with cancer to advocating for funding of Avastin and volunteering as a Cancer Coach with CCAC. With him as co-chair we had over 300 participants and raised just under $50,000.

Before I do anything else, I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce you to our spokesperson for the run, and what we are trying to get across as the face of colon cancer, Lara-Lea Avery her husband Dale and son Riley. Lara-Lea was diagnosed when she was 29 years old. As she says – She wants to get the message heard that “This disease can happen to anyone at any age.”

Of course, I read everything about colorectal cancer that I can get my hands on. Research tells me that Vitamin D and a baby aspirin a day can help prevent re-occurrence of colon cancer so I’m popping my daily helping of vitamins. Another study came out (when I was on my soup diet the month before my first surgery) that stated that following an eastern diet could help prevent stage III metastatic colon cancer from reoccurring and I’ve been following an almost no red meat diet since the day it was published.

Volunteering as a Cancer Coach for CCAC and trying to raise awareness in Manitoba about this dreadful disease takes up most of my time these days. I never dreamed that I’d spend so much time talking about bowel movements! I now know a great deal about colostomies, hemorrhoids flatulence and constipation. Added to that – to counterbalance this list are an equal number of conversations about early detection for colorectal cancer, making each day matter and the future.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my story with you today.


Colon Cancer Survivor Takes Us on A Tour Through The Giant Colon

Meet Jim Horner from Oshawa, Ontario. Jim is a Stage III Colon Cancer Survivor. Watch where he takes us? Bet you didn’t think you were going to tour a larger than life, unique and interactive giant colon today?

Survivor Series – Our Own Frank Pitman Shares His Story

Frank at the start line of the Scotia Charity Challenge 5K Walk on April 29, 2012

In May 1999, my youngest sister Elaine was rushed to the emergency room at our local hospital complaining of abdominal pain. Later that evening she underwent urgent surgery to have her colon resected. She unfortunately had advanced colon cancer. Sadly, just one year later, on May 18, 2000, she died, at the young age of 44 years old.

The tragic loss of my youngest sister could have been avoided if she had been screened for colon cancer.

A few years later, when I was 55, a colonoscopy revealed that I too had colon cancer and I required extensive surgery. Thankfully, to date, the cancer has not reappeared.

I was so much luckier. However, having been present throughout my sister’s painful battle with colon cancer, I still ask myself why I wasn’t more proactive in getting screened long before I was diagnosed with the disease. I guess I felt that it was something that could only happen to someone else. Perhaps I was embarrassed at the thought of having a doctor examine me or perhaps I was unjustifiably afraid of getting screened…I guess, I was afraid of what they would actually find. How ridiculous!

Looking back, none of these reasons were worth delaying getting screened. The gravity of the physical and psychological trauma that I went through following my diagnosis, and the anxiety experienced by those close to me, far surpassed any possible concerns I could have had about getting screened. All the pain and suffering could have been avoided by detecting the disease even before it became a cancer.

Following my recovery, I felt I had to do something to prevent others from making the same mistakes that I made. I contacted the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, and asked how I could help. I entered the CCAC’s Cancer Coach training program, and have been a coach for the past since 2008.

Survivor Series: “Optimism is better than despair”

Special thanks to Patrick Connors – son of Jim Connors for sharing his father’s battle with Colorectal Cancer.

“For me, there was a time when it was merely a word. A scary, alien word, yes, but still just a word. Cancer. That time is a distant, innocent memory.

Six years ago, when Dad was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, that alien word invaded our family. Four years ago it took Dad away from us — his loving family and friends — amidst his prime.

Still scary but no longer alien, cancer has a different meaning to me now. It is too familiar and brings with it many intense associations, memories and feelings. Pain. Anger. Confusion. Stress. Anguish. Unrelenting longing.

But along with the negative associations, memories and feelings there is the positive.

First and foremost amongst these is the memory of how Dad chose to approach his condition. He was optimistic despite a bleak outlook, positive despite great pain, and was immensely concerned with how his illness and the chance of death would impact the lives of those who loved him. And he chose to help others with the same illness. He got involved in the CCAC and became an advocate. He pushed for greater awareness about colorectal cancer, for early screening programs and for funding for effective cancer drugs.

Dad believed in and supported the CCAC. Through education, support and advocacy the CCAC provides help to many individuals like Dad and families like ours. It is a positive balance during dreadfully negative times. I continue to support the CCAC after his death because its work provides me with hope for a day when people know full-well about the cancer word but know it in a way that is different — a way where cancer is less scary, less painful, and where the only stories are ones of survival.”


The Giant Colon’s presence at the K Rock Centre in Kingston on March 9, 2012, gave Kingston spectators a unique opportunity to interact with and be informed by the giant colon. During this stop, the GC was located near the entrance in the Kingston arena prior to and during a Junior A hockey game between Kingston and Mississauga, held in honour of Hugh Ball and other OHA players who died of colorectal cancer in recent years. Hugh was very active in Junior hockey in the Kingston area and his widow Betty Ball helped organize this event in his memory.

Betty spoke at the event about her husband, his battle with CRC and his fight to live:

March is Colorectal Cancer Month. One local sportsman we remember tonight is Hubert Ball, whose life was claimed by colorectal cancer over 15 years ago. If Hugh were alive today he’d urge you to get screened early and to not ignore the danger signs. We invite you to visit the giant colon and tabletop display in the foyer. The exhibit, owned by the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, is sponsored by the OHA, local health providers and Cancer Care Ontario. It is an amazing teaching tool.

Hockey was Hubert’s first love, taking him through Kingston’s Minor ranks from JR B to JR A, and ending with Cataraqui Oldtimers.

His second passion was bird watching and carving. Till near the time of his death in 1996, Hubert spent a major part of each day on decoy making and painting, competing on the local & national scene with longtime OHL friends, Richard Cherry & Bob Collins.

What stands out over and above his hobbies is his love of family and life itself. He was proud of his wife and children and his own achievements. He fought valiantly to live a little longer and enjoy each moment. In his fight for life he was heroic.

On behalf of myself and my family and the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, we thank tonight’s sponsors for the opportunity to remember Hugh and all those whose lives have been touched by colorectal cancer. Awareness, screening and simple acts of kindness are our best tools in fighting this preventable disease.”

Top left: Betty Ball with her son David Ball
Top right: Our own Frank Pitman, Nathan De Bono and Adrien Mitchell in front of the GC
Bottom left: Dr. Hugh Langley, Gwen Potts
Bottom right: Dr. Hugh Langley, Lori Van Manen (MGR of Community Prevention)