IMG_5618Brittney Raby – Staff Writer

One in 20 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime. It’s a scary statistic and it’s one of the reasons why Franklin High School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) recently held an event where FBLA members, FHS students, faculty, staff and many county employees helped promote awareness of colon cancer, a disease that can be prevented through screening but is still the second leading cause of overall cancer deaths in the United States. The event took place to commemorate March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

The first Friday in March is officially recognized for “Go Blue Day” to promote colon cancer awareness. Franklin High School’s FBLA students designed t-shirts and sold them as a fundraiser.

“We wanted to make a difference in the lives of our members, their families and their friends. Our Go Blue Day event encouraged our members and county employees to talk to loved ones about colon cancer and the importance of being screened. By creating more awareness around this disease, we will save lives,” said Michelle Brooks, FBLA Adviser. “It’s important that we do our part by helping create a future free of colon cancer.”

FHS’s FBLA held a colon cancer awareness concert last March featuring HIgh Schoolstage 4 colon cancer survivor Wade Hayes and is currently in the process of securing a contract to have Hayes perform again this October. Continuing their efforts of raising awareness, the FBLA sold around 150 shirts to students, faculty, and county employees.

“We wanted to dedicate this Go Blue Day in memory of Walter Wright who passed away from stage 4 colon cancer last month,” said Brooks. “Walter’s wife, Lynn Wright, a stage 3 colon cancer survivor works in IT for the county and had her fellow co-workers sport the Knock Out Colon Cancer shirts for Walter and colon cancer awareness.  Walter will be greatly missed in our family and our community.  Before his passing we made him a promise that we would do our best to educate people that early detection is key in beating colon cancer.”

Macon County Manager Derek Roland commended  FHS’ FBLA for their ongoing efforts in the community to raise awareness of the disease and county employees for getting behind the cause. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer and I am proud to support the FBLA in helping to raise awareness of the disease,” said Roland. “I am also proud to see the county employees step up to honor Walter and support his wife Lynn while they continue to be affected by colon cancer.”

Portions of the money raised from the sale of the shirts will be donated to the FBLA Relay for Life team.