Supporting Colorectal Cancer Charities

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The Backside, Issue 4 – Meet Donna


Issue 4 March 26, 2014



“My personal mantra would be to look at life in a positive light. No matter what it throws at you, it’s just part of the journey.”
— Donna Sweeny, Colorectal Cancer Butt-Kicker.

Bio-K+ Bum Run Ambassador 2014

Captain of “The Coolons”

Age: 54

Hometown: Toronto

Donna & The Coolons were in the lead for this year’s top fundraisers for must of the race, and finished in #2!

As a two-time survivor of Colorectal Cancer, Donna has a lot of people on her team helping her kick cancer in the butt!

BR: Why did you choose to sign up for the Bio-K+ Bum Run?

DS: Having been diagnosed with colon cancer twice, I think it’s important to give back to others that don’t or didn’t receive the excellent care that I did from my health care team. I’ll always be grateful to the doctors and nurses at North York General Hospital. I can personally attest to the importance of early detection. It saved my life….twice!

BR: What will be your greatest motivation on race day?

DS: My motivation comes from the hope that more people will take this disease seriously and get tested. Colonoscopies are no big deal to have done and you’ll have the best nap of your life.

BR: Beyond the Bio-K+ Bum Run, who or what inspires you on a daily basis?

DS: My inspiration comes from the fact that because of early detection, I will be around to grow old with my husband. I will be around to dance at my daughters weddings. I will be around to spoil my grandchildren. I will be around to give back and help to bring awareness to early detection and help others that are struggling through the same thing that I went through.

BR: How many official races have you completed & how many times have you participated in the Bio-K+ Bum Run?

DS: I am not a runner. I do however, get up at 4:30 every morning to either kickbox, spin or weight train. I’m doing this run for the sake of raising money for colon cancer and to bring awareness of the importance of screening. This is my first time doing the Bio-K+ Bum Run.

BR: What is your race time goal?

DS: No goal for time. I’m going to run with my family and friends and have fun.

BR: What do you think will encourage more people to participate in colorectal screening?

DS: I used to get so nervous going to my GP for checkups. Even though my doctor is very nice, nobody likes to get poked and prodded. So I avoided those appointments. When I turned 50 I thought it would be in my best interest to suck it up and go. Among other over 50 tests, she made an appointment for my first colonoscopy. As it turned out, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had surgery, a colon resection, and did not require chemotherapy because it did not spread to my lymph nodes. I was very lucky that it was caught so early. Because of my having had colon cancer, I was watched very closely with colonoscopies, blood work and CT scans. A year later, I was diagnosed with colon cancer for a second time. It had metastasized to my lung. This required another surgery, a lobe resection, and twelve rounds of chemotherapy. It was a long road but because of early detection, again, I’m proud to say that I am now a two time cancer survivor and very healthy. I tell everyone that going to doctors and being tested is actually welcoming and comforting now because if God forbid it comes back again, it will be caught early and my life will be saved again.

BR: If your bum could talk, what would it say?

DS: My bum would say, thank you Donna for facing your fears and getting checked.

BR: You are officially citizens of Bumnation. Is there anything you want to say to prospective recruits?

DS: I’d say it’s an excellent cause. Get out there and give back.

The Backside, Issue 3 – Meet Isabelle & Michael

Read the original version here.

backside 3









Bio-K+ Bum Run Ambassadors 2014

Team Members of “The House that Di Built”

Super Powers: Sweetness & Persuasion – the perfect recipe for a successful lemonade stand!
Age: 10 & 5
Home town: Toronto

Last year, Isabelle & Michael taught us about the power of turning lemons into lemonade.

The money they raised was in the name of an extraordinary woman and an even more extraordinary friendship.

BR: Why did you choose to sign up for the Bio-K+ Bum Run?

I & M: We joined the team “The House that Di Built” to raise money in honour of Dianne Shail, a family member battling cancer. (And sadly lost the battle on September 18, 2013)

BR: What will be your greatest motivation on race day?

I & M: Our greatest motivation will be the memory of Dianne, and the hope that what we are doing will contribute to a cure so that others will not have to endure what Dianne did.

BR: Beyond the Bio-K+ Bum Run, who or what inspires you on a daily basis?

I & M: We were inspired by the generosity of the people in our community. People went out of their way to buy our lemonade. Cars would reverse down our one way street or drive around the block. People would more often then not donate much more than expected. We heard many stories of how others have been affected by cancer which also inspired us.

BR: How many times have you participated in the Bio-K+ Bum Run?

I & M: 2013 was our first year participating.

BR: What is your fundraising goal?

I & M: Last year we raised over $225.00 at our lemonade stand, so our goal will be to surpass that amount. This amount was added to money raised through online donations on the Bio-K+ Bum Run website.

BR: Do you plan on walking/running the race this year or one day in the future?

I & M: We will be walking and running with our team at the 2014 Bio-K+ Bum Run and our team plans to join in again next year.

BR: If your bum could talk, what would it say?

I & M: RUN!

BR: Last year you made lemons into lemonade. Given the change in date, what will be your fundraising strategy this year?

I & M: We are planning to have a hot chocolate stand this year. We are considering hitting local skating rinks in hopes of attracting more customers.

BR: You are officially citizens of Bumnation. Is there anything you want to say to prospective recruits?

I & M: Get up off of your bum and run! The Bio-K+ Bum Run is a great experience, our family enjoyed participating in the 2013 run.

When we asked the Cosleys how they were related to Dianne, we were touched by this beautiful response:

“Dianne and my mother were the best of friends — more than I have ever seen in my life. They met 30 years ago at a support group for widows. My mum counselled there after having lost her husband to cancer a decade earlier. Together, they ultimately started their own support group. As their families grew, we all adopted each other through their bond. When talking with Dianne’s kids I would affectionately refer to Dianne and my mum as “the mums”. They were very interchangeable – they even looked alike. They could use each other’s membership cards and played along whenever people would confuse them for one another. As they grew closer, they moved closer… and eventually ended up sharing a home together. I guess the simple answer is, she was like family.

— Lesley Cosley,
Mom & Lemonade Mixologist.


The Backside Is Back!

The Backside, Issue 2 – Meet Erin!

Click above to read our second newsletter and meet our next Bio-K+ Bum Run ambassador, Erin!
Erin and Team Paul have been big supporters of the Bio-K+ Bum Run.

Erin Stone with her father, Paul Stone

Read Our Newsletter, The Backside!!

The Backside, Issue 1

Our very first issues of our own Bio-K+ Bum Run Newsletter, The Backside! Our first issue features our top Bio-K+ Bum Run fundraiser to date, David Brown. See below to read his story and why he is so passionate about this cause.

David Brown

Welcome to The Backside

The (very first) Bio-K+ Bum Run Newsletter

Issue 1, February 10,2014


“On that fateful day in March 2012 my life and the life of my now wife changed forever.

 I put off the colonoscopy not thinking that it would ever reveal what it revealed…

I cannot change the past but I can change how I approach my health today.  So I

tell my story and share my journey really for selfish reasons – it is my therapy.”

 — David Brown




 Captain of “Kicking the Crap Crew”


 AGE: 44

 HOMETOWN:  Eden Mills & Toronto


 David has been the top fundraiser for the Bio-K+ Bum Run in its first two years.

  The BR Team is so inspired by him that we thought it only fair to share him with


BR: Why did you choose to sign up for the Bio-K+ Bum Run?

DB:  I first heard about it in 2012 from the nurses in the Oncology clinic at St.

Joseph’s Health Centre while I was in treatment there.  I participated in the first

event as a patient on active treatment and last year I joined post-chemo and determined

to beat my fundraising and time records.  This year, I again strive to be the number

one fundraiser – the cause is so entirely personal.

BR: What will be your greatest motivation on race day?

DB:  Being healthy enough to walk or run in this event 2 years after being diagnosed

with Stage III Colon Cancer.

BR: Who or what inspires you on a daily basis?


1. My 14-month old son, Benjamin.  I want to be his SuperDad when he      graduates

University.  I want to speak at his wedding.  I want to be his hero like he is mine.

2. My wife, Victoria.

3. My friend and blog inspiration, Barb, who passed away in 2013 from a rare gastro-intestinal


BR: If your bum could talk, what would it say?

DB:  1.  You should have listened to me sooner.

2.  Did my back crack?

BR: You are officially a citizen of Bumnation. Is there anything you want to say

 to prospective recruits?

DB:  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Spread the word about colorectal cancer, awareness

and screening. Every dollar and every sponsor and every person who is made aware

 of the importance of colorectal cancer screening is appreciated. You all inspire


Get screened, get the word out about screening. If you are in a high-risk category

-talk to your doctor and get screened.

Screening tests like FOBT and colonoscopies are nothing to fear. Believe me – the

prep is far far worse than the procedure itself.

And did I say this already? THANK YOU!

BR:  Thank you, David!

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