June 4, 2014 — Imagine if there was a way to treat and even beat colon cancer — the second deadliest cancer in the nation. All it takes is a simple colonoscopy screening to prevent cancerous polyps from growing. But barriers like confusion, financial hardship, and — most commonly — embarrassment cause many to succumb to the preventable disease. Until one woman refused to shy away from the issue.
When Melinda Conklin’s husband passed away from colon cancer in 2011 at the age of 43, she decided to transform tragedy into charity. In 2012, Melinda founded Hitting Cancer Below the Belt (HCB2) — a nonprofit organization dedicated to colon cancer outreach and education, in addition to supporting the costs of colon cancer screenings for those in need.
In just one year, she organized a golf tournament and a 5K run — raising a total of $16,000 for the American Cancer Society, and $23,400 for the Richmond Academy of Medicine “Access Now” program for uninsured patients.
But her goal was far from complete. “We want to keep the conversation going,” Melinda said. “It doesn’t have to be so deadly. We can prevent this.” That’s when she turned to Agency|51.
To help spread the word, Agency|51 enhanced HCB2’s foundation with strategic direction. We designed a new logo, developed event concepts like the Boxer Brief Battle 5K run, and re-launched the organization’s Facebook page for a greater social presence.
But perhaps the most-anticipated addition this year is the Dazzling Denim Art Show and Auction. Based on the importance of knowing your family’s medical history, the event cleverly brings more attention to genes with jeans. Artists use pairs of jeans and denim jackets as canvases to create unique, hand-painted artworks. Proceeds from the silent auction benefits local cancer prevention education, screening, and research.
“Cancer affects us all, and making a difference starts with one person,” says A|51 VP/Managing Partner Scott Muscarella. “From the moment we met Melinda, we knew her passion and determination would accomplish great things. She’s inspired us on so many levels, we’re proud to play our part in cancer prevention.”
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