The Colon Club Adds Teen Survivor, Healthcare Marketer to Board

WILTON, N.Y. – Jan. 17, 2013 – Advocating colon cancer awareness and colonoscopy screening isn’t an easy job. Luckily, two women with a passion for colon cancer and a background in marketing have joined the Board of Directors of The Colon Club to help. Danielle Ripley-Burgess, colorectal cancer survivor diagnosed in her teens, and Debbie Donovan, healthcare marketing consultant, are the two newest board members to join the non-profit group.

“These two ladies bring a tremendous amount of experience and passion to our organization,” said Krista Waller, president of The Colon Club. “They both have a personal tie to colon cancer that fuels their efforts to advocacy. Plus, they’re skilled in marketing and anxious to help us get our message out and save even more lives!”

Burgess offers board a young survivor’s perspective

Burgess first became acquainted with The Colon Club after applying for the Colondar and modeling as Miss October 2009. Her story of colon cancer survivorship beginning at age 17 furthers The Colon Club’s mission to inform communities that colorectal cancer CAN occur in those who are young – even in their teens. Since featured in The 2009 Colondar, Burgess has volunteered as a staff member of The Colon Club helping oversee The Colon Club’s website, social media, marketing and public relations. She is the owner of Semicolon Communications, a marketing company in Kansas City.

“The Colon Club was formed by people like me, for people like me,” said Burgess. “Twelve years ago I never dreamed that I’d find an organization dedicated to connecting young colon cancer survivors like myself. I am honored to be a part of furthering the organization’s mission and continuing to offer hope and my expertise to aid those also facing this ‘old person’s disease’ way too young.”

Donovan brings medical technology marketing expertise

Donovan is joining the Board of Directors of The Colon Club after becoming acquainted with the organization through a sponsorship of the 2013 Colondar. She oversees the digital marketing strategies of Third Eye Retroscope a new endoscopic technology used during colonoscopy to give doctors a ‘rear view’ of folds and turns in the colon helping them see more polyps. As previous Director of Marketing at Advantis Medical Systems and current marketing consultant, Debbie focuses on developing digital platforms that enable medical device and diagnostics companies to increase patient awareness for live-saving technologies.

“My passion for colorectal cancer screening comes from my father who spent his career working on the Hemoccult fecal occult blood test–I grew up talking about poop,” said Donovan. “It’s critical for any-aged patient experiencing symptoms (like bleeding in the stool), to be screening for colorectal cancer. If a funny photo on Facebook or a clever joke on Twitter motivates that patient to take action, that’s a win.”

The Colon Club run by board of directors

As a non-profit, volunteer-based group, The Board of Directors is called upon to govern and direct the The Colon Club and its “crazy, out-of-the-box” projects. All board members are required to provide input, oversee a committee and ensure that the organization is meeting its aggressive goals and operating under best practices of 501(c)(3) organizations.

“Our board members are strategically chosen so that we have a well-rounded team that isn’t only skilled in the areas of operating a non-profit like The Colon Club but passionate about our mission, too,” said Waller.
Special upcoming projects of the group include a photo shoot and release of the 10th annual Colondar (the 2014 Colondar), strategic partnerships with other colon cancer-focused organizations and a national educational tour of “Coco” the Colossal Colon and the 2013 Colondar. The tour will stop in major cities across the U.S. and feature a 2013 Colondar model and education stations at each stop.

Meet the Board of Directors of The Colon Club

About the Colon Club

The Colon Club is a New York State nonprofit founded in 2003 by Molly McMaster, a colon cancer survivor diagnosed on her 23rd birthday, and Hannah Vogler, a cousin of the late Amanda Sherwood Roberts who died of the disease at age 27. The Colon Club serves to educate as many people as possible, as early as possible, about colorectal cancer in interesting and out-of-the-box ways and to encourage people to be screened when it’s appropriate for them. The Colon Club is the manager of “Coco,” the Colossal Colon (a 40-foot-long, 4-foot-tall crawl-through of the human colon), The Colondar, a calendar featuring men and women diagnosed with colorectal cancer under age 50, as well as an active online message board for young patients and caregivers impacted by colorectal cancer.

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