Credit River Township resident and businesswoman Kathryn Blume is the 2012 Honorary Chairperson for the Get Your Rear in Gear Kids’ Fun Run, part of the larger Get Your Rear in Gear 5K Run/Walk on May 20 at Southdale Center in Edina. Over 4,000 people are expected to attend the event and raise money for colon cancer education and screening programs in Minnesota.
This position was created by Get Your Rear in Gear’s founder Kristin Tabor at the first event Get Your Rear in Gear 5K 2005 to honor her sister, Susie, who had been lost to the disease. This person is a colon cancer survivor, an advocate for colon cancer awareness, education and screening, and a parent.
First diagnosed with cervical cancer over 7 years ago, Blume was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009 after struggling with symptoms for nearly two years. The cervical cancer is gone, but the fight against the colon cancer remains. She is the mother of four children, two girls and two boys, ages 17-25 who attended Lakeville Schools. She is also a tireless advocate for colon cancer awareness and educational programs and is the team captain for the CARS (Colon, Anal, Rectal Support Group) Team.
Blume is a strong advocate for knowing your family history. She learned after her colon cancer diagnosis that her paternal grandmother has passed away from the same disease when she was in her 50s. Blume is convinced that if she had known the family history, her symptoms would not have been misdiagnosed and her cancer caught much earlier.
“Had this been in my medical files, my primary doctor would have been less likely to dismiss my symptoms as IBS,” Blume said.
Her mission now is to educate and advocate for colorectal cancer awareness and screening, push for more funding for research, and help colon cancer patients advocate for themselves. Blume is adamant that “it is time that blue means as much as pink.”
2012 is a big year for Kathryn Blume. She recently learned that her colon cancer markers are down and that she will have a summer free from chemo therapy.
“I’ve found so many ways, that even with cancer, I can help others," she said. "I’m determined to do that as long as my health allows.”
Some of her recent activities include:
• Securing a proclamation from the Gov. Mark Dayton declaring March 2012 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness month in Minnesota.
• Spending a week in Washington D.C. meeting with the Digestive Disease National Council’s Public Policy Forum and Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Call on Congress.
• Captain of a Relay for Life team for the American Cancer Society and speaking at opening ceremonies.
• Honorary chair for the Selke Hall Team at the University of North Dakota’s Relay for Life.
• Starting a south-of-the-river colorectal cancer support group and facilitating the group twice per month.
For more information about the Get Your Rear in Gear Twin Cities 5K visit http://getyourrearingear.com/events.