#UCMFightsCancer: PR students help spread awareness for colorectal cancer (COMMENTARY)

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By TATYANA SIMMONS
Reporter
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — UCM’s public relations students used their service-learning project to bring awareness to colorectal cancer.
Each year, of the 140,000 people that are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, 50,000 lose to the fight, according to STRONG magazine. Because so many people are affected by CR cancer, students in Jennifer Mullins’ advanced PR design class took the opportunity to spread awareness about the causes and prevention of colorectal cancer during Big Pink Think week.
Dominic Davis, junior public relations major, said although he knew about other types of cancer, he wasn’t familiar with colorectal cancer.
“Now that I know it’s preventable and affects people my age, of course I’ll inform others,” Davis said. “It can happen to anybody, including me.”
Each student in the class had a job to assist with creating the event that debuted Sept. 29, such as managing social media or music, or working promotions.
PR students worked hand-in-hand with Danielle Burgess, director of communications for Fight Colorectal Cancer, and Andrew Wortmann, content and community coordinator for Fight CRC. Both are alumni of UCM.
Maggie Hoffelmeyer, senior fashion and textile merchandising major, said she was affected by colorectal cancer when her father died of the disease a few years ago.
“He was 45 (years old) when he died, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, it was 2006, I think it was in June,” said Maggie Hoffelmeyer, a senior fashion and textile merchandising major. “He fought for about a year and he died in September of 2007 – when I was 12.”
Hoffelmeyer said there wasn’t any history of cancer in her family and that people
should be aware of the symptoms. She said people should get colonoscopies now, instead of later.
“It’s becoming a bigger thing,” she said.
This isn’t the first time PR students worked alongside Fight CRC. The PR program recently received a PRISM award Sept. 24 from the greater Kansas City Public Relations Society of America for Fight CRC’s STRONG magazine that was entirely created by students in the program.