Tampa’s UNDY 5000 5K Run/Walk to help benefit BRIDGE Clinic

A portion of the proceeds from this Saturday’s Undy 5000 5K Run/Walk in Tampa will help pay for potentially life-saving colonoscopy procedures for uninsured residents served by the USF Health BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic, staffed by student and faculty volunteers.

The  Undy 5000 5K Run/Walk series comes to Tampa for the first time to bring greater awareness to colon cancer. The event kicks off at 9 a.m. this Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Al Lopez Park. 

Some of the funds raised from the 2013 Tampa Undy 5000 will be left behind to the USF Health BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic, where uninsured residents near the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus can get free health care. The proceeds will help support colon cancer screening programs for this underserved community.

“The BRIDGE Clinic needs this funding to help pay for the colonoscopy procedures that find the cancer, and then the surgical treatments required to remove and cure the cancer,” said USF Health’s Frederick Slone, MD, an assistant faculty director for the BRIDGE Clinic.

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The event will feature the Colon Cancer Alliance’s inflatable colon, a giant, walk-through colon that shows the various stages of colon cancer.

 “Colon cancer affects almost 1,200 Tampa residents annually,” said Todd Setter, National Undy 5000 Event Director. “The Undy 5000 is designed to bring greater awareness to this largely preventable disease.  One in 20 people will develop colon cancer over their lifetime.  By being screened, polyps can be removed before they become cancerous.”

To help better educate people about this disease, the event will feature the Colon Cancer Alliance’s inflatable colon, a giant, walk-through colon that shows the various stages of colon cancer, including descriptions of Crohn’s disease and colitis.

 The Undy 5000 will be held in 18 cities across the country this year to educate the public about colon cancer, promote screenings and encourage people to talk about the disease. Instead of raceday T-shirts, all registered participants receive a commemorative pair of Undy 5000 boxers. It is a family-friendly event open to all ages, and in addition to the 5K, there is a 1-mile fun run. The Colon Cancer Alliance, the nation’s leading patient advocacy organization, hosts the event.

Created by the Colon Cancer Alliance in 2008, the Undy 5000 stresses the importance of timely colon cancer screenings, early detection, and provides valuable information for those already affected by the disease. Event proceeds help fund the Colon Cancer Alliance’s patient support and public awareness programs.