Supporting Colorectal Cancer Charities

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.

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