Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

Hope, Strength and Inspiration

Lauren Miller

By 2016 Colondar Model Lauren Miller


I recently found out my coworker is having preventive surgery for breast cancer. She is a 5-year

breast cancer survivor and had the genetic testing done. It was confirmed that she has BRCA-1

gene. Because of this, she is also getting a partial hysterectomy in December to remove her

fallopian tubes. She will then get double mastectomy in March. What struck me as surreal was

that she is 52 years old, and came

Colon Cancer Stars!

Polly Polyp

by Belle Piazza
The April sponsor for the 2013 Colondar is an organization close to my heart and close to my home – Colon Cancer Stars in Seattle, Washington. Founded by former Colondar Model (April 2007) and friend of mine, Anita Mitchell and her friend and fellow stage 4 colon cancer survivor, Carmen Mitchell. Anita and Carmen met during treatment for stage 4 colon cancer in 2005 and instantly became friends. Both diagnosed in their early 40’s with stage 4 …

Pretty in Pink

Pink Princess

by Belle Piazza

It was a bit of a rush from the Vancouver office where I’d received my radiation treatment earlier that morning down to Portland where I was scheduled to meet with my oncologist and receive my Erbitux infusion. As I checked in with the receptionist, she warned me with a bit of skepticism that film crews from The Rachel Ray Show were in the office. “Why?” I asked – not realizing it was October – the month that …

One Voice Against Cancer

Diana Christianson, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Belle Piazza and Jessica Wixson, LA for Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler

Diana Christian, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Belle Piazza and Jessica Wixson, LA for Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler

by Belle Piazza

The cab ride from Dulles International Airport to Capital Hill was long. I struck up a conversation with the driver who I learned was from Ethiopia. “What do you like the most about living in the United States?” I asked him. Without hesitation his response was “freedom to speak what you want to”. How true.

I had been invited to D.C. …

Fight Colorectal Cancer!

Call on Congress 2013

Call on Congress 2013

by Belle Piazza
The May sponsor for The Colondar is near and dear to my heart – Fight Colorectal Cancer. I first discovered this group through Gaelen, who many of you remember. She was very passionate about this group and their cause. Their Mission Statement reads as follows: “Fight Colorectal Cancer demands a cure for colon and rectal cancer. We educate and support patients, push for changes in policy that will increase and improve research and …

Get Your Rear in Gear!

Get Your Rear in Gear

Get Your Rear in Gear

by Belle Piazza

If you get nothing more out of this blog article than what I’m about to tell you now, mission accomplished.  Right now – this very minute, go to the web-site for “Get Your Rear in Gear” and find out if there is an upcoming 5K Run in your area – and sign up yourself and your family to participate!  Not a run in your area, okay, we’ll get to that.


Call on Congress 2013 – It’s Never Really “Over”

Rachel and Belle

by Belle Piazza

Late Wednesday evening, surrounded by fellow advocates on the crowded dance floor – Rodrick Samuels, our charismatic and inspirational speaker for training, conga line leader and for the moment our D.J., shouted out over the music, “Take the “L” out of “Lover”, cause this party is “OVER!”. Over. I can’t believe it’s over and time to say our final good byes to people who are as close to me as my own family, more so in some …

COLON CANCER CHALLENGE FOUNDATION New York Colon Cancer Challenge – April 7, 2013

By Belle Piazza

When I first joined The Colon Club in 2008, one of the first things I did was order myself a copy of the The Colondar. I’ve had a current Colondar hanging on my kitchen wall ever since.

The Colondar is one of the main ways the The Colon Club spreads awareness and education of colorectal cancer to everyone who sees it, as well as hope and inspiration for those of us fighting the disease.

Publishing The Colondar …

Media Alert: Young colon cancer survivors available for interviews during March’s colon cancer awareness

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Feb. 14, 2013 – March is colon cancer awareness month – a time when stories featuring “butts and guts” become appropriate for the nightly newscast. The Colon Club has a database of young colorectal cancer survivors from across the U.S. available for interviews and willing to share their stories. To set up an interview with a nearby colon cancer survivor, please email or call (816) 729-7760.

Why feature colon cancer in young adults?

meaghan-volk-1-colon-cancerTraditionally, colon …

The Colon Club Adds Teen Survivor, Healthcare Marketer to Board

WILTON, N.Y. – Jan. 17, 2013 – Advocating colon cancer awareness and colonoscopy screening isn’t an easy job. Luckily, two women with a passion for colon cancer and a background in marketing have joined the Board of Directors of The Colon Club to help. Danielle Ripley-Burgess, colorectal cancer survivor diagnosed in her teens, and Debbie Donovan, healthcare marketing consultant, are the two newest board members to join the non-profit group.

“These two ladies bring a tremendous amount of experience and …

It’s That Time of Year Again

by Belle Piazza

It’s that time of year again. Christmas, sure, but what I’m talking about is applying to be a model in the 2014 Colondar; the photo shoot for which will take place in June of 2013. As a 2012 model myself, I can’t believe how long its been since I was the lucky one in front of the camera, all made up and pretty for my photo shoot. Of course The Colondar can only accommodate 12 models each …

Meet Miss December | Reagan Barnett

You can imagine our surprise when we sat down with Reagan and asked, “How did you feel when you were diagnosed with colon cancer at age 22?” and her immediate response:  “Relieved.” But for someone with colon cancer running through her family and years worth of symptoms and pain, she was happy to finally have answers. Read on to learn more about Miss December, Reagan Barnett, a great spokesperson and advocate for colorectal cancer, and especially …

Meet Miss November | Paige Hartmann

Yes, it’s true. This beautiful gal that’s featured as Miss November is a survivor of colon cancer… diagnosed at age 21. The Colon Club was thrilled to meet her and have her model for us in the 2012 Colondar. Read on to learn more about Paige!

paige-hartmann-21-year-old-colon-cancerThe BASICS

Name: Paige Hartmann

Diagnosis: Stage III rectal cancer in October 2009.

Age at Diagnosis: 21



Where were you when you found out you had colon cancer? 

I was …

Meet Ms. October | Staci Wills

Now although she does have striking resemblance to her, October’s model is not Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie. It’s Staci Wills, a brave rectal cancer survivor from Canfield, OH. Read on to learn more about this funny, charming survivor we’re proud to call one of our own at The Colon Club.


Staci-wills-stage-3-rectal-cancerName: Staci Wills

Diagnosis: Stage III rectal cancer in July 2009.

Age at Diagnosis: 32



Where were you when

Women’s Ice Hockey November 2nd thru 4th, 2012 to benefit The Colon Club!

colon_logo-colon-club-fundraiserCalling all hockey fans! This November in beautiful Lake George, NY, there will be a 3 day womens hockey tournament to raise money for The Colon Club. The games begin Friday evening, November 2nd at 5 p.m. and will run till close to midnight. Saturday morning, November 3rd, the excitement begins again at 7 a.m. and will continue till close to midnight. Sunday, November 4th is the final day, with games beginning at 7 a.m. and running till late afternoon.…

Meet Mr. September | Adam Benlon

Turning the calendar to Mr. September makes us smile anyway, but especially because we get to stare at Adam for the next month. Not only is his story of survivorship inspiring, but his jokes and humor make him extra fun. Enjoy getting to know this latest colon survivor!

Adam-benlon-colon-cancer-survivorThe BASICS

Name: Adam Benlon

Diagnosis: Stage IIIc colon cancer on  August 18, 2009

Age at Diagnosis: 29



Where were you when you found out you had colon

Finding My Voice – Part 3 of 3 – Finding My Inner Voice

Read part 1 of 3 here

Read part 2 of 3 here

By Belle Piazza


As a Colondar Model I was able to meet and connect with people who would later offer me various opportunities to become involved in raising awareness.  Some offers I have jumped at, others I have politely declined.  I’ve learned that for me to be effective, I need to feel passionate about what I’m doing – AND to have fun with it.  If it seems …

Finding My Voice – Part 2 of 3 – Call on Congress

Read Part 1 of 3


Every March, National Colo-rectal Cancer Awareness Month, I write a letter to the editor at our small local newspaper discussing colo-rectal cancer and the importance of colonoscopies. Every year it gets published. I live in a small town and most all letters to the editor get published, including the ones that preach about the apocalypse, complain about potholes and advocate for the rights of sea lions. But still, I consider it an accomplishment. I’ve …

Finding My Voice – Part 1 of 3

Part 1 of 3 – Becoming an Advocate

It was fall in the Pacific Northwest, my absolute favorite time of year. Fall of 2007 was an especially bright one; lots of sunshine, vibrant fall colors and that cool crispness in the air. I got my kids safely on the school bus and headed down to CVS Pharmacy in Vancouver to run an errand I’d been particularly dreading.

As I drove south on 503 there were a dozen or so places …

Meet Mr. July – Tim Maiorca

Welcome Mr. July! We’re excited to introduce you to this brave stage IV survivor and share his story with you. And you’re welcome ladies, we know many of you are aren’t going to mind seeing him all month!

Tim-maorica-stage4-colon-cancer-survivorThe BASICS about TIM MAIORCA

Name: Tim Maiorca

Diagnosis: Stage IV colon cancer on March 20, 2002

Age at Diagnosis: 37



Where were you when you found out you had colon cancer? 

I was at work. I went …

Meet Ms. June – Kim Hall Jackson

Kim Hall Jackson – what a gem. She’s our Ms. June and boy does she have a great story. Read on to learn not only about how she survived rectal cancer but how she continues to make a difference and continually give back – constantly grateful for every blessing in her life.

kim-hall-jackson-rectal-cancerThe BASICS about KIM HALL JACKSON

Name: Kim Hall Jackson

Diagnosis date: Stage III rectal cancer in December 2008 (originally diagnosed with Stage I, re-diagnosed after surgery.)

Age …

Meet Ms. May – Connie Belden

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate May Day than to introduce you to Connie Belden. She’s one of the quickest-witted people we know and brings a smile to everyone she meets. And a joke. Learn a little bit more about Ms. May 2012, Connie Belden!


Connie-belden-colon-cancer-survivorName: Connie Belden

Diagnosis date: Stage I colon cancer on October 6, 2006

Age: 32



Where were you when you found out you

Meet Mr. April – Dan Wilson

We know it’s April Fools Day and all but our newest Colondar model to be featured throughout April is no joke. Dan’s a marathoner who’s run a race in all 50 states. His story is inspiring, encouraging and eye-opening. Read on to learn a little bit more about Mr. April 2012, Dan Wilson!

dan-wilson-colon-cancer-survivorThe BASICS about DAN WILSON

Name: Dan Wilson

Diagnosis date: Stage III colon cancer in December 2005

Age: 47



Where were you when

Meet Mr. March 2012 | Roger Rojas

Happy Colon Cancer Awareness Month! To celebrate, meet one amazing survivor, Mr. March, Roger Rojas!

Roger is an avid runner, Steelers fan (although he’s from Texas) and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Read on to learn a little bit more about him.


Roger-Rojas-colon-cancer-survivorName: Roger Rojas

Diagnosis date: October 7, 2008 at age 32 with Stage III rectal cancer.



Where were you when you found out you had colon

Announcing the 2013 Models!

We’ve got another AMAZING group of models that will be showing off their scars and sharing their stories with everyone in the 2013 Colondar!

Please join us in celebrating our next round of Colondar models!

Gals in the 2013 Colondar

Dawn Gagliardi- Smyrna, GA

Dana Holbrook- Point Pleasant, NJ

Carolyn Hunt- Calabasas, CA

Tia Jones- Wichita, KS

Kelly Kuster- Milwaukee, WI

Kerryn Miller- Seattle, WA

Meaghan Volk- Peoria, AZ

Guys in the 2013 Colondar:

Sanjay Bery- Basking Ridge, NJ

Doug …

Meet Miss February 2012 – Belle Piazza

February is the month of love, and oh how fitting that as we introduce Miss February 2012.

Belle Piazza is a charming mom of two and avid gardener from Battle Ground, WA. She’s fun, spirited and a fighter. Read on to learn a little bit more about Belle.


belle-piazza.the-colon-club-cancer-survivorName: Belle Piazza
Diagnosis date: October 23, 2007 (a day before her son’s 5th birthday) with stage IIIc rectal cancer at age 43
Currently undergoing chemotherapy.


Meet Mr. January 2012 – David Dubin

Today we get to break open the seal and hang up our 2012 Colondars! And this brave cowboy is the first to grace the pages as Mr. January 2012.

David Dubin is a three-time cancer survivor from Haworth, NJ. You might have already read his Colondar bio to learn about his story of cancer survival, but here are some other fun facts that you may not have known about our Mr. January 2012. We sat down with him at …

2013 Colondar Model Applications

Our application process has begun and we’re now taking applications for 2013 Colondar Models.

Download The 2013 Colondar Model Application

How To Apply For The Colondar:

Please download the application, and fill it out completely. When you turn in the application, we’ll need:

  • The completed 2013 application.
  • A photo (one that shows your surgical scar – or lack of one)
  • A long bio (see past model bios to get an idea of what we are looking for.)

Send your completed …

Gift Guide for the Colon Cancer Survivor

In just a few days, our newspapers will be shoved full of ads and stores will be going crazy! Black Friday is upon us! If you’re starting to make your Christmas shopping list and trying to figure out what to buy the colon cancer survivor in your life, we have a few ideas! Coming from a community full of “semicolons,” here are some gifts that some of us wouldn’t mind getting … and watch out, they may just be what …

The 2012 Colondar is Here!

The wait is over!

The Colon Club is happy to unveil the next group of thirteen remarkable colon/rectal cancer survivors.

Set in the natural outdoors of the Lake George, NY area, this baby is one-of-a-kind.

Models bravely reveal their surgical scars surrounded by rolling hills, blue skies and the natural outdoors. Each photo shows that there is beauty in cancer survival, even as unnatural or unusual as colon cancer before age 50 can be.

Buy a 2012 Colondar!

The 2012

Colossal Colon Photos from Conway, AR Visit