Via Christi Philanthropy and Via Christi Oncology Services recently received a $20,000 grant from Get Your Rear in Gear Wichita and the Colon Cancer Coalition.
The grant will provide financial support for uninsured and underinsured colorectal cancer patients. By partnering with area oncologists, pathologists and surgeons, Via Christi Oncology nurse navigators will identify colorectal cancer patients who are newly diagnosed, currently undergoing treatment or currently in a follow-up status. Patients also will be identified if a positive result is found from Via Christi’s yearly colorectal cancer screening initiative.
“Many people over the age of 50 aren’t aware that they should have a colon cancer screening and if they do want to get the screening, they may not have the funds to cover the cost,” said Keisha Humphries, service line administrator of Oncology Services for Via Christi Hospitals. “One of our goals through this grant is to decrease the number of cases of colon cancer in Kansas during the next four to five years. This grant will go a long way in helping us to do that.”
Get Your Rear in Gear Wichita is a 5K run/walk and 1-mile fun run that’s been held annually since 2010. Via Christi Health has been a sponsor of the event for the past three years. The funds for the grant were raised during the past several years’ events.
“The money raised for this grant will help provide colonoscopies and colon cancer screenings for the uninsured and underinsured in Wichita,” said JJ Sorochty, event director, whose sister, Debbie Hernandez Mitchell, is a colon cancer survivor. “So many people are affected by the financial stresses that cancer brings. We wanted to alleviate that stress and help where we can.”
Debbie was diagnosed in Sept. 2009 with stage IV colon cancer at the age of 42 and had no family history of the disease. The sisters started the Wichita chapter of Get Your Rear in Gear as a way of raising awareness of colon cancer.
This year’s run will be held Sunday, May 29 at the Farm & Art Market Plaza in Wichita.