How it Began
In 2011, a group pf physicians joined forces with a national organization and hosted Chattanooga’s first 5K fundraiser to raise awareness about colorectal cancer. Working with a national organization required a bulk of raised funds go back to the national partner, but the GCCCF founding members had a bigger vision! Since Tennessee ranks among the lowest in the United States for colorectal screenings and ranks among the highest for deaths related to colorectal cancer, they wanted to ensure all proceeds could stay local, and they formed the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation (GCCCF.) The mission: to provide community education and medical benefit in all matters relating to colon and rectal cancer and preventative support in the greater Chattanooga region. Additionally, the GCCCF created their own Rump Run, 5K fundraiser, allowing all funds raised to support colon cancer prevention and treatment right here in our community.
The founding board members, Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero, MD, Michael Clinton Ringering, Melissa Diane Pendergrass, Kimberly Sue Shank, Christine Lawrence Vaughn, Craig Sarine, and Christie Kizer Burbank saw a need for education and prevention since colorectal cancer is preventable, beatable, and treatable.
The GCCCF board includes a representative from each local area hospital network, creating a true partnership and collaborative effort to end colorectal cancer in our area.
The vision of the GCCCF is to have a Greater Chattanooga community where every eligible person is screened for colon cancer at the earliest appropriate time. The GCCCF is building its vision by participating in health fairs and public service media campaigns on radio, television, billboards, and online, to the GCCCF’s annual Rump Run 5K, and recruitment of physicians and healthcare facilities to donate their services for screenings and colon cancer care, to recruiting and working with our amazing volunteers
Several founding members still serve on the board, and the outreach efforts for GCCCF continue to grow. In 2021, GCCCF launched a new awareness campaign across multiple platforms to educate the community that The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force revised recommendations for regular screening, beginning at age 45 instead of 50. In 2022, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the 10th anniversary brought more than 1200 survivors, caregivers, community partners, and individuals together to help conquer colon cancer. Aligning with the 5-yer strategic plan, GCCCF looks to make sure every resident of Hamilton County knows that colon cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable through early screenings.
Colonoscopies save lives.