June 27, 2022 –
“You’re the only one in the country diagnosed with this disease at your age…maybe even the world.” Those were the words The Colon Club Co-Founder, Molly McMaster Morgoslepov heard from her doctor in 1999 upon her diagnosis with colorectal cancer. It was her 23rd birthday.
Feeling angry and alone, she decided to raise awareness of a disease that no one wanted to talk about. An elite hockey player, she would in-line skate from her home in upstate New York to Colorado where she had been going to school when her symptoms appeared. Before leaving on her trip Molly was contacted by a young woman in Little Rock, AR named Amanda Roberts. Amanda had also been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. This friendship became the genesis of Molly’s advocacy. Her cross-country journey, dubbed Rolling to Recovery, would raise $60,000 and educate people nationwide about early age onset colorectal cancer. She was less than a year out of chemotherapy.
Molly promised a dying Amanda that she would continue her efforts in advocacy and awareness.
From this beginning came incredible things: a giant, educational colon that people could crawl through and that toured the country and drew national recognition from media personalities like Katie Couric and Jimmy Kimmel; an online support group (inspired by the guestbook from Molly’s trip) for early age onset colorectal cancer patients; and a yearly publication of a dozen survivors (now entitled On The Rise) highlighting the stories of early age onset colorectal cancer patients and their caregivers.
Nearly 20 years later – CoCo the Colossal Colon has a permanent home at The Health Museum in Houston, TX, Colon Talk is still going strong, and The Colon Club is a national leader in advocacy for early age onset patients having featured the stories of over 200 patients and caregivers.
So how do we celebrate 20 years? By retracing Molly’s Journey and highlighting the accomplishments of the past two decades.
Introducing the Colon Club’s Rollin’ Reunion National Tour. The tour will have stops in Cleveland OH, Chicago Il, Springfield MO, Denver CO, Houston TX, Charlotte NC, and Washington DC. Press availabilities and reunion information will follow.
Let’s hit the road!