It's CRUSH Time: See You on March 21

CRUSH starting line 2019The Duke Cancer Institute Gastrointestinal Cancer disease group will host its seventh annual CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K and Walk on Saturday, March 21. The event raises funds to support colorectal cancer research at Duke. Last year's event attracted 39 teams that together raised more than $50,000.

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. In 2019 more than 145,000 people were expected to be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer, and more than 51,000 were expected to die from colon or rectal cancer. 

Recent advances have significantly contributed to improving screening and treatment, and have resulted in a growing population of colorectal cancer survivors.

Wanda Honeycutt RN, BSN, CCRP, GI Oncology research program manager, is serving as director of CRUSH this year. She's been part of the event either as an active participant or organizer every year since the first CRUSH in 2014.

Honeycutt lost her father to colon cancer in 2014, the week before that first event.

“He had plans to attend the race and my family and I have continued to use CRUSH as a platform to honor his memory,” she said.

Justin Crocker screening advice
Justin Crocker, MD, comments on a recent study published in Gastroenterology — "Long-term Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Related Death After Adenoma Removal in a Large, Community-based Population." (via @Duke_GI_ Twitter)

Honeycutt also leads her own CRUSH team. Her mother, who was a breast cancer patient at Duke, passed away a year after her father. Though her mother didn’t have colon cancer, Honeycutt raises funds each year to honor both parents — Donald L. Painter and Carol J. Painter — with her aptly named team Partners with Painters In Awareness of CRC. 

The 2020 CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K and Walk will start and finish at the Shops at Northgate, 1720 Guess Road, in Durham, North Carolina. Dogs as well as strollers are welcome. Free parking is available at the Northgate Mall parking deck.

Participants are encouraged to form teams or join teams and raise funds by visiting CRUSH 5K. (Be sure to register as a participant or volunteer by March 4 to ensure you get a CRUSH shirt in your requested size)

"Forming or joining a team is a way to engage with family and friends for a common goal, coordinate fundraising efforts, and have fun!" said Honeycutt, advising that special t-shirts, props (think poop emoji or anything Duke Blue - the color of colorectal cancer awareness), and costumes are strongly encouraged.

Prizes will be given for Best Team Name and Best Dressed/Costumes in addition to Top Fundraiser and Top Runner awards.

As in past years, individuals and teams can take advantage of photo-ops at the inflatable colon or the CRUSH stage. The event will also include a kids activity area; a community, Duke, and sponsor exhibit area; and colorectal cancer survivors tent. There will also be a Duke research table where participants can learn about ongoing research at Duke and how CRUSH has contributed to current projects. Post-race snacks will be available.

For additional questions, please email crushcolorectalcancer@dm.duke.edu. For updates, follow CRUSH 2020 on Facebook.