Colon cancer cut short the life of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi at the age of 57 and, nearly 50 years later, remains the number two cancer killer in the United States. Now, the foundation bearing his name and one of the country’s premier cancer diagnostics companies are teaming up to fight back.
Today, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation (VLCF) announced a new, multi-year partnership with Madison, Wis.-based Exact Sciences that will work to increase awareness of colon cancer, stress the importance of screening and prevention, and raise funds for cancer research.
A first-of-its-kind partnership for both organizations, the agreement makes Exact Sciences’ noninvasive Cologuard the “Official Colon Cancer Screening Partner of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.” As a result, VLCF fundraising will be incorporated into Cologuard-branded events and campaigns across the country.
“Exact Sciences’ innovative thinking and revolutionary advancements truly embody our mission to progress cancer prevention, research and compassionate care,” said Benjamin R. Haas, president of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. “We look forward to the opportunities that this partnership will open up as we work together to help people better understand their colon cancer screening options.”
The two organizations are already off to a fast start.
In February, Cologuard was a sponsor of VLCF’s inaugural Leaders For A Cure event in St. Paul, Minn., and in March, Cologuard named VLCF a charitable beneficiary of the 2018 Cologuard Classic PGA TOUR Champions golf tournament in Tucson, Ariz. Helping in the $50,000 check presentation to VLCF at that tournament was pro golfer and Cologuard ambassador, Jerry Kelly, and his good friend, MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Additional integrations for the two brands will include:
- The New 50 – A national campaign featuring multi-talented musician, singer and actor Harry Connick, Jr. and his wife of 24 years and former model, Jill Connick, The New 50 is working to educate Americans about how colon cancer screening can fit into their busy lives. For every #ScreenWithMe pledge at www.new50.com, Cologuard will donate $1 to colon cancer research and advocacy organizations, including VLCF.
- Jerry Kelly Birdies for Charity – For every birdie made by pro golfer Jerry Kelly on the PGA TOUR Champions this year, Cologuard will donate $100 to VLCF.
- Cologuard Hole-in-One Challenge – Visitors to the Cologuard booth at the PGA TOUR Champions events across the country can take part in a miniature golf putting challenge. For each hole-in-one made, $1 will be donated to VLCF.
- Pro Football – VLCF will be featured in Cologuard’s cancer awareness initiatives coinciding with pro football’s cancer awareness activities in October.
“The Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation carries on the coach’s commitment to excellence, integrity and improving people’s lives,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences. “It is an honor to work with the foundation to expand its national footprint and educate even more people about the importance of colon cancer screening. This is the beginning of a very special relationship between our organizations as we work to defeat cancer through early detection.”
Colon cancer is widely known as one of the most preventable, yet least prevented forms of cancer. It’s the number two cancer killer in the United States, taking the lives of 51,000 Americans per year – more than both breast cancer (41,000/year) and prostate cancer (29,000/year). Despite colorectal cancer’s preventability, more than 35 million Americans age 50 and older are not current with screening guidelines.
Cologuard is changing how colon cancer screening is done, offering an easy, at-home collection process and none of the prep associated with a colonoscopy. Once prescribed by a health care provider, Cologuard is delivered to a patient’s home via UPS. Patients collect their sample on their own time and use a prepaid return shipping label to send the specimen to Exact Sciences Laboratories. The health care provider receives the test results within a few weeks and the patient avoids the preparation, dietary and medication restrictions associated with a screening colonoscopy. To learn more about Cologuard, visit www.cologuardtest.com.