Team Beyond Colorectal Cancer Members Ensure Another Excellent Jimmy Fund Walk

The team representing Dana-Farber’s Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center called Team Beyond CRC (colorectal cancer) is looking forward to the fast-approaching Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai taking place on Sunday, October 2. Team Beyond CRC will be among 90 other employee-led teams participating in the Jimmy Fund Walk. This longtime annual event brings together Dana-Farber patients, family, friends, faculty, and staff to fundraise and take steps to help Dana-Farber.

Brigette Arsenault, Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center clinical research and program coordinator, will co-caption for a second year. In her free time from helping Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center patients, Arsenault is organizing, and recruiting walkers for, Team Beyond CRC.

“The funds from the walk go a long way in helping our group run the services that our patients value including the support groups, and programs like our insomnia workshop,” says Arsenault. “Having that immediate opportunity to give back to the Center is very exciting.”

Arsenault is also thrilled for her first walk in person. This year, the Jimmy Fund Walk is back to offering four route options on the Boston Marathon® course with the option for participants to walk their own route virtually.

The Director of Dana-Farber’s Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center, Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, is also taking part and raising funds. Despite her busy schedule as an oncologist, Ng participates in events like these as part of her mission to spread awareness for young-onset colorectal cancer, a growing cohort of patients requiring unique treatment and social needs.

Members of the team representing Dana-Farber’s Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai
Members of the team representing Dana-Farber’s Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai

According to the National Cancer Institute, cases of young-onset colorectal cancer have increased by 51 percent since 1994, data which has led the American Cancer Society to revise its colorectal cancer screening guidelines to start earlier at age 45 instead of 50.

One of the most passionate advocates for Team Beyond CRC is Dana-Farber young adult patient David Thau, who was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at the age of 34.

“As my family and I searched for reasons why I had contracted this disease so young — with no family history of colon cancer — we discussed what to do next,” Thau says. “We luckily came across the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a new center focused precisely on people like me within one of the world’s most renowned cancer centers.”

Growing up in Boston, Thau knew about Dana-Farber and says travelling to Boston from Washington, DC for treatment at the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center was a “no-brainer.”

“The Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center has provided me with everything I’ve needed to make my 12 rounds of chemotherapy as manageable as possible,” he writes. “In addition to Dr. Ng and her amazing team of nurses, I’ve been provided with a social worker at each treatment, genetic testing to determine if I or future offspring would be at greater risk for multiple cancers, and a dedicated support team who were always on call and ready to answer any questions I had at any time of day or night.”

His experience has inspired Thau to take part in the Jimmy Fund Walk to raise funds for and awareness of young-onset colorectal cancer treatments and screening at Dana-Farber.

“David is the best,” says Arsenault. “He comes back for the Jimmy Fund Walk every year and is such a dedicated advocate. We’re grateful to have him.”

Those interested in participating in the Walk or in supporting a specific walker or team can do so at