National Dress in Blue Day

Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in Canada? This year 23,900 men and women will be diagnosed with the disease and sadly over 9,200 individuals will die from it. However, this cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable in 90% of cases if discovered early.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, and the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC) will be hosting its second-annual, Dress in Blue Day on Friday, March 7th. We have been asking schools, business, and organizations all across Canada to show their support for colorectal cancer awareness by dressing in blue.

Partaking in Dress in Blue Day is easy. Similar to Denim Day where participants wear denim to benefit the CURE Foundation, on Dress in Blue Day participants wear blue to support The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and those affected by colorectal cancer. The CCAC would like to partner with you to spread awareness and fundraise for colorectal cancer. Please encourage your colleagues, friends & family to participate as well.

The CCAC is dedicated to increasing awareness of colorectal cancer, supporting patients, and advocating for accessible services, and would be happy to provide resources for you. These include healthy-eating pamphlets and informational posters which can be displayed in your office or distributed to your staff. There is no cost to participate in this event, but the CCAC strongly encourages everyone to donate to help support colorectal cancer; even a few dollars can truly make a difference. To register for this event, for more information or to make a donation please visit:

The Giant Colon Celebrates World Cancer Day in Toronto

World Cancer Day is an event designed to reach out to the public on a global scale with the intent to educate and activate conversations about a disease that has effected and continues to affect millions of people around the world.

This year, World Cancer Day 2014 (4 February 2014) focuses on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer, under the tagline “Debunk the myths”.

According to organizers, World Cancer Day is a chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease. From a global level, we are focusing our messaging on the four myths above. In addition to being in-line with our global advocacy goals, these overarching myths leave a lot of flexibility for members, partners and supporters to adapt and expand on for their own needs.

Visit the website for more details on World Cancer Day and the 658 events organized and on-going around the world today. One of which is the presence of The Giant Colon Tour in the Mars Building in Toronto.

The 40-foot long, eight-foot high inflatable exhibit, which features many unappealing pre-cancerous and cancerous sites throughout, is an attention-grabbing prop used as part of the Colorectal Cancer Awareness Association’s awareness raising campaign on the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canada.

Visitors are guided through the colon by a puppet mascot, Dr. Preventino, who appears on a series of screens to show them giant hemorrhoids, rectal cancer, mushroom-like polyps and other not-so-pleasant things one might see during a colonoscopy. The tour aims to inform visitors in a fun, graphic and memorable way, that colorectal cancer is both preventable and treatable.

The tour aims to inform visitors in a fun, graphic and memorable way, that colorectal cancer is both preventable and treatable.

If you haven’t had the chance to take a tour yet, it will be set-up in the Mars building today Feb 4th until 8:30PM.

Get in there while you can!

Sanofi Canada Donates $65,000 to the CCAC’s Giant Colon Tour Initiatives

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada was pleased to accept a generous donation of $65,000 from Sanofi Canada and it’s employees to fund its vital awareness, support and advocacy activities.

Sanofi Canada employees were encouraged to take an educational tour of the CCAC’s 40’ long, walk through, multi- media, supersized representation of the human Colon that was installed at their annual National Meeting, on January 21 and 22. For each employee who took the tour, Sanofi Canada pledged to donate $5 to the association.
“With over 400 employees having taken The Giant Colon tour, many more than once, employees raised almost $6,500 for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. As a result of their overwhelming support of the fundraising effort, Sanofi Canada decided to add a zero to the amount and raise the donation to $65,000,” claims Jon Fairest, President and CEO, Sanofi Canada. “Our goal is to be a true partner in health to Canadians and this is one way we achieve this. We are proud to partner with and contribute to the association and the important work it does.”

“We greatly appreciate our long-standing relationship with Sanofi Canada and ongoing support they provide the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada in our efforts to increase awareness and education of the disease. With Sanofi’s help The Giant Colon became a reality in Canada, the result of which has been that millions of Canadians have learned about colorectal cancer and how it can be prevented,” said Barry D. Stein, President, Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada.

In 2013, 1 in 13 men and 1 in 15 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Canada. Colorectal cancer is linked to several modifiable risk factors, emphasizing the importance of primary prevention and timely screening.

Stay tuned to our Facebook Page in order to know when The Giant Colon will be making a stop in a city near you!

Colorectal Cancer & Personalized Medicine Montreal, November 5-6 2013

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC) in collaboration with the Canadian Oncology Societies (COS), and the Groupe d’étude en oncologie du Québec (GEOQ) is proud to host an international expert-level conference chaired by Dr. Jean Maroun (Ottawa Hospital) and Dr. Axel Grothey (Mayo Clinic) entitled Personalized Medicine in the Management of Colorectal Cancer in Montreal, Quebec on November 5th and 6th, 2013, to promote a better understanding of how medicine and society are preparing for a new age in cancer treatment.

With advances in technology and a progressive understanding of cancer biology, personalized medicine is being applied in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Knowledge of a patient’s genetic makeup is driving the selection of the most effective therapies and the personalized medicine approach to the treatment of colorectal cancer will help physicians detect cancer earlier and improve patient outcomes.

This multidisciplinary meeting will cover how these concepts are being incorporated into today’s clinical practices, to an audience of clinical researchers, members of the pharmaceutical industry, government regulatory authorities, healthcare management organisations, physicians, patients, oncologists, and others in the healthcare community. At a time when health care is evolving rapidly, this expert conference will highlight how we are preparing the landscape for the adoption of personalized medicine in the clinic.

Physicians (family practice, epidemiology, GI, surgical oncology, pathology, medical and radiation oncology, interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, and psychosocial oncology) medical students and other health professionals, clinician-researchers and scientists, genetic counsellors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, laboratory professionals, bioinformaticians, medical informaticians and information technology professionals, pharmacists, bioethicists, interested public, patients, and regulatory authorities.

Science and medical media are welcome.

This event is approved for up to 9.5 credits by the Office for Continuing Health Professional Education (CHPE). The Office for CHPE, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Education (CACME).

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Each physician should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The entire proceedings will be available to the public live at

Loews Hotel Vogue
1425, rue de la Montagne
Montréal (Québec) H3G 1Z3
(514) 285-5555

Online at:

‘50 SHADES OF BLUE’ – First Annual Fundraising Dinner Dance

‘50 SHADES OF BLUE’ – First Annual Fundraising Dinner Dance

Elena Iacobelli, only 49, was given the news that she had stage 4 colon cancer in November 2011. The late cancer discovery meant the illness had spread from her colon to her liver and lungs. Her war began – the first round of chemotherapy treatment brought her close to death. Intensive rounds of chemotherapy continue today – one day of therapy every two weeks. It has been a challenging couple years though it hasn’t stopped her one bit. In 2012 she single handedly raised over $15,000 for the Terry Fox Run and in 2013, much weaker now, is fighting to raise funds again and spread awareness of Colorectal Cancer.

“Most of us are touched by cancer, either personally or through a loved one, but to get the news that you have cancer — it’s so scary. But just because you have cancer, that doesn’t mean you stop moving forward. So, I will keep knocking on doors, getting out there and getting involved” – Elena Iacobelli

She is truly an inspiration to all and her enthusiasm and determination to help out those who have been affected by cancer is truly a beautiful thing for someone who has been through so much. Her family and friends are proud of her and want to help her make a change.

Elena has started the “Elena Let’s Conquer Cancer Foundation” to raise funds for various organizations that have been assisting patients that are battling cancer. On Friday November 8th, 2013 we will be hosting our First Annual Fundraising Dinner Dance ‘50 SHADES OF BLUE’ at the Riviera Parque in Vaughan. We are currently seeking assistance from our local community in the form of cash or product donations in support of this event. Please help us make a difference and spread awareness! Don’t be the next victim of this life- threatening illness!! Net proceeds raised during this event will be donated to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC) is dedicated to increasing awareness of colorectal cancer, supporting patients, and advocating for population-based screening and timely access to effective treatments!

Please make cheques payable to “Elena Let’s Conquer Cancer Foundation” If you would like to join us at this family friendly dinner dance or assist with donations, please email us at for more information.

In 2012, an estimated 23,300 Canadians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and approximately 9,200 did not survive. Overall, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men and women combined. On average, 64 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 25 Canadians will die of colorectal cancer every day.

We want to sincerely thank you on behalf of Elena for assisting in our fundraising efforts and are grateful that people like you make a difference in the fight for Cancer!

Please call Angie D’Agostini at 416-708-2235 for inquiries.

The Giant Colon visits Sherbrooke

The Giant Colon Tour made a 3 day stop from August 9th to 10th at The Carrefour de L’Estrie in the beautiful city of Sherbrooke, Quebec. The people from the Sherbrooke region were extremely gracious hosts and close to 7,000 of them passed through our fabulous 40 foot long interactive awareness exhibit. Since the Canada Games were also taking place during our stay, there were numerous out of town and out of province visitors.

Special thanks to Francine Chenard and Sophie Breault from the Carrefour de l’Estrie, Nathalie Guay and Pierre-Étienne Fillion from the CHUS laboratory and Gordon Lambie from The Record.

Our fabulous volunteers Hugo Douville and Jeannette Pane joined CCAC staffers David Black and Frank Pitman to make the Sherbrooke stop one of the most successful this year.

In the Name of the Father – Chris McGrath to Run the Toronto Waterfront Marathon This Fall

This year, close to 24-thousand Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. George McGrath, 56, is among them. Diagnosed in June, he just started chemotherapy and radiation treatment. In the meantime, his 25-year-old son Chris, is using social media combined with his networking skills to lift his father’s spirits, all the while training to run in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this fall in his father’s honour.

“I was able to wrangle up four friends who would like to do (the run) with me as well and they’re all really close with my dad too so it’s kind of taken off from there,” Mr. McGrath says.
The group — including Mr. McGrath, Dana Liddell, David Rostek, Matthew Rostek and Kevin Huinink — has already raised more than $3,000 within a few days and is aiming for a total of $10,000.

Help support Chris McGrath for the CCAC.

University of Ottawa Imagination Session

A team of volunteer student consultants from the Telfer School of Management’s MBA program is currently working with the CCAC to develop new event ideas and provide the framework in which the event will be successful and sustainable. To that end, an Imagination Session was held on July 24th at the Telfer School of Management on the University of Ottawa’s main campus. A total of 16 students participated in the event. Seven different faculties were represented at the event; Arts, Common Law, Civil Law, Engineering, Management, Medicine, and Science. 61 original ideas were generated at this morning-long session.

The structure of the Imagination Session was developed based on the study of research carried out by academics and practitioners. A number of subtle nuances were critical for the event’s success. While the group should not be too large or too small, there should also be an open flow of ideas. However, too open of a setting can prove intimidating for some participants, so there should be clear guidelines but they should not be restrictively specific. In this context, the structure of the event was developed.

The event started with an introductory presentation, necessary for providing the background and context in which the session fits. The background information included a presentation of CCAC as well as an overview of colorectal cancer. Idea information was then provided, including other events currently run by CCAC as well as the full range of creative to traditional events currently held in Canada. Finally, the session agenda was presented, with a strict timeline and objectives, and session rules were provided.

Small groups of four participants developed original ideas, while a designated scribe recorded the ideas on poster board. After 15 minutes of brainstorming, the scribes switched groups and presented the ideas generated by the previous group. These existing ideas were then built on by the new group and used as inspiration for new ideas. This process continued until the scribes had rotated amongst all groups. This structure allowed ideas to flow freely through the use of smaller groups, but also allowed all participants’ ideas to influence and inspire other ideas by having scribes that switched groups.

The ideas, frameworks for success, performance management techniques, as well as high-level implementation plans will be presented to the CCAC in the consultants’ final report, to be delivered and presented by mid-August.

Written by Guest Blogger:
Vincenzo Sposato
JD/MBA Candidate 2014 (uOttawa)

2nd Annual Rollin’ for Colon A Huge Success

The 2nd Annual Rollin’ for Colon event took place July 19, 20, 21, 2013. Eighty-eight people attended and a great time was had by all. Our event was the first of its kind in Canada because it is a motorcycle & motor coach tour bus event. Everyone and anyone can participate, not only motorcyclists.

On Friday evening, the 19th, registrants were treated to a free seafood before preparing for the following day’s all day tour and poker run. The fog was thick and extremely wet when the participants left Yarmouth by way of the South Shore and also the Annapolis Valley on Saturday morning at 9:00 am. It was more than an hour into their trip before the fog lifted and the sun broke through the clouds. Returning home to Yarmouth that evening, participants were treated to a quarter chicken dinner with all the fixings plus a cake for dessert which was donated by Atlantic Super Store (Loblaws).

This year we sold raffle tickets on a motorcycle training course as well as having an auction of donated items. Proceeds from the auction and raffle were donated to two local cancer support groups – The Gilles Boudreau Cancer Care Fund and the Yarmouth Prostate Cancer Support group. Both groups assist cancer patients with travel costs to and from other hospitals for treatments and/or doctors’ appointments, if treatments and /or specialists are not available at the South West Health Cancer Centre in Yarmouth. This year we are fortunate to be able to donate $500 each to the above mentioned groups. We were pleased to be able to donate locally as well as raise money for CCAC.

The best part of this event – we raised $1800.00 for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. This was down slightly from last year as our event this year was during a time that most people chose to take their vacations.

Jen’s Booty Banter: Spice up your Summer

Booty Banter has been on a hiatus. I should be spanked, but alas the pooping princess is back and I look forward to regaling with ways to stay regular, because I am obsessed as ever to get you tips you can actually use to keep things moving along.

Before I give you a hot idea though, a couple of months ago, I read some statistics that were both encouraging and alarming. Here’s the good news. Colorectal cancer rates overall seem to be going down. This is fantastic. But the downside is that the number of younger people (25 -49) developing bum cancer is slowly increasing. Why? It’s hard to say but speaking as someone who has sometimes lived it hard, lifestyle choices might have something to do with it. That and all the other stuff you can’t control, like family history and environmental factors (which I am convinced have health impacts). All I can say about this one, is if you are young(ish) like me and in your forties and think you’re too young to get cancer in the pooper, you’re wrong. At ANY sign of trouble, if something just doesn’t feel right, or you have blood, cramps or general malaise down there insist on a colonoscopy. Don’t let your doctor tell you that you are too young to get it. You aren’t. Ok enough of the serious stuff. And as I have said in the past, the colonoscopy just isn’t that bad and the drugs they give you to get you through the procedure are the best.

I could also go on about the importance of exercising and eating veggies (which of course it all is) but you hear that all the time from just about everywhere you look. Enough said, for now anyway.

But here’s the bottom line. In a way, your bum health is about revving up the metabolism, keeping it going fast enough for all your parts to do their job more efficiently and to get the toxins moving out of your body as fast as possible.
On that note, have you ever noticed how, after a particularly spicy meal, it’s not just your mouth that is on fire? For starters, if you are looking at keeping your trim figure, spices help crank up your metabolism so you are burning more calories, especially hot peppers. That in turn helps out in the poop-producing department. Adding garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and curry not only make your food taste better, they too help your digestive system keep ticking along too. So don’t be afraid to spice up your life up a bit with some easy butt-moving additions to your diet. Next month, I will share a list of spices and other taste-enhancing butt-friendly elements that you can add to your food.

In the meantime, make sure you also drink lots of water.

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.