Saturday’s ‘Tour de Tush’ cycling fundraiser, sponsored by Center Valley-based Olympus Corporation of the Americas, is organized by the Colon Cancer Coalition to raise money to purchase gift cards from local businesses for patients through St. Luke’s University Health Network. This annual event is being held virtually this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“As COVID-19 continues to limit our social activity, the Colon Cancer Coalition has teamed up with presenting sponsor, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, to organize a virtual Tour de Tush–Allentown on Saturday, June 13, in support of colorectal cancer patients in the Lehigh Valley,” a news release about the event said.
Participants in the event will join together virtually with the goal of raising more than $20,000 to help those suffering from colorectal cancer. Funds raised from this year’s ride will support patients and local businesses alike, as gift cards from local restaurants and stores will be given to patients through St. Luke’s University Health Network, a Tour de Tush–Allentown grant partner.
Hundreds of cyclists, volunteers, colon cancer survivors and caregivers will gather online at 9 a.m. Saturday for a Facebook live virtual kickoff event. Afterward, participants will hop on their bikes and peddle away, however and wherever they choose to ride. Tracking their activity miles along the way, cyclists will receive their finisher medals after uploading photos of their progress with the hashtag “#TDTMyWay.”
“I am thrilled to join the legacy of cyclists whose commitment to the ride is changing the face of colorectal cancer in the Lehigh Valley, and I look forward to supporting this year’s unique outing which will offer support to local cancer patients during this unusual time,” said Olympus president Julien Sauvagnargues of the Tour de Tush. “Congratulations to (Allentown organizer and colon cancer survivor) Gale Fritsche and the Colon Cancer Coalition for their ability to shift gears at the last minute and offer a program that continues to promote the importance of colorectal cancer awareness in our community.”
Olympus Senior Manager of Community Affairs Krista Ortwein added, “even through tough times, Olympus is committed, as a company and as a community partner, to join others in raising awareness of this disease. While social distancing may keep us apart physically, we can still make a difference together virtually.”
Free registration for the Tour de Tush-Allentown is still available online at ColonCancerCoalition.org/Allentown.
Fritsche’s story has been shared on video as part of Olympus’ celebration of its 100th Anniversary: https://youtu.be/CrPNb-h3ZXQ.
The following colon cancer facts were shared by Olympus Corporation in their news release about the Tour de Tush:
- One in 23 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer during their lifetime.
- Fifty-one percent of adults ages 50 to 54 have not been screened for colorectal cancer.
- One in five colorectal patients is between the ages of 20 and 54.
- The American Cancer Society encourages colorectal cancer screening start at age 45.
- Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer incidence and death in young adults under 50 in the U.S., according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institute of Health.