Many Thanks

RECEIVED Tue., April 22, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I would like to thank the Chronicle, as well as the people and businesses of Austin for all of their support throughout Colon Cancer Awareness Month this past March. As event director of the "Get Your Rear in Gear" 5K Run/Walk – an all-volunteer, nonprofit benefit – the outpouring of support to get the word out about the importance of screening for this mostly preventable disease was both encouraging and reassuring. Colo-rectal cancer is the second-most deadly form of cancer in both Texas and the U.S., and according to the CDC, if the entire population were screened at the recommended age of 45-50 years, the death rate would drop immediately by 60%.
    In our effort to get this message out, I was amazed at the community mentality that remains at the heart of our ever-growing city. When we had our fundraiser at Clive Bar, it turned out to be the coldest, iciest day of the year, and just when I thought nobody would show, we ended up having a great turnout, complete with a pro bono concert by Atlas Maior and delicious donations from generous food vendors and door prizes from the other bars on Rainey Street. Thank you to everyone involved – especially the patrons who saw us from the street and decided to pop in.
    Gratitude is owed to the colon cancer survivors and family members who have lost loved ones who donated their time and efforts, and were willing to openly share their experiences on a subject that many people don't wish to talk about. I like to think that maybe you inspired someone to get screened and helped save his or her life. The individuals, as well as the UT student groups, who volunteered should be commended for getting up early on a Sunday and coming out to lend a hand on race day: the HOSA chapter, Phi Chi Theta, and the Longhorn Pre-Pharmacy Association. With the exception of one individual from the city of Austin Office of Special Events, everyone else was very supportive and eager to help out in this endeavor.
    With the APD, Austin Gastroenterology, Austin Cancer Centers, Texas Oncology, and the rest of our sponsors and supportive businesses (who are too numerous to list here), thousands of dollars were raised for the local Livestrong Program and the Cancer Support Community of Central Texas. To all of those involved, be assured that your efforts and donations are very much appreciated and are going to a good cause in helping Central Texans affected by this preventable, treatable, and beatable disease.
    Thank you, Austin! You make me proud to be from here.
Ryan Murray
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