Savannah runners gather to spread colon cancer awareness

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The mission for Saturday morning's "Get your Rear in Gear" is to spread awareness of colon cancer. March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and organizers say they want to make sure everyone crosses the finish line against colon cancer.

"It's an imminently preventable disease, so we want to get awareness out there in the community to have your colon cancer screening performed," Dr. Ryan Wanamaker said. "So we can save lives and people won't have to ever deal with cancer. It's such an important thing that we feel passionate about."

"It's important because it's early detection. And with early detection you can have a better chance of living," runner Tanya Milton said.

Milton remembered her brother Artie and his big personality during the race. He lost his battle with colon cancer almost a year ago.

"Unfortunately my brother wasn't a part of that number who were screened, so I just want to remind everybody else to get their colonoscopy, because it's a matter of life and death," Milton said.

WTOC also remembered someone special, our very own Mike Manhatton. The race was in honor of the WTOC anchor and reporter. He worked at the station for more than 33 years. Manhatton lost his battle with colon cancer in 2014.

"This is very much in his memory. I had the opportunity to meet him just a few times and really a courageous individual," Dr. Travis Wiggins said. "It's people like him that give us inspiration and the kick to move forward and have these kind of events."

All of the money raised goes toward local colon cancer prevention. Wiggins says he's seen a difference in just seven years of the race.

"We've had a tremendous impact locally. We've found a few cancers early and I think we've saved some lives for sure," Wiggins said.

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