You Can Be Like Portland – Host a March!


Portland-One-Million-StrongOn April 12, advocates, volunteers, dancers, food cart vendors, tourists, acrobats, and other Portlandians gathered in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Together, we celebrated the one million colorectal cancer survivors in the United States, commemorated those who lost their fight against the disease, and educated the public about colorectal cancer screening and prevention. It was a sight to be seen!

13836987024_cd470840e6When LaRisha, Marsha, and Michell Baker approached Fight CRC with the idea of partnering with their nonprofit organization, the Steve Baker Memorial Colorectal Cancer Alliance, to take One Million Strong to the West Coast, I can honestly say that we had no clue what we were getting ourselves into—in a good way!


13836344093_7f527412c2For months leading up to the event, Michell hosted a monthly call for the planning committee. Each call covered every detail of the event; from what types of food carts would attend to who would build the “pop the polyp” game (thank you, Tom Foeller!). The attention to detail by everyone on the committee was both inspiring and intimidating—organizing a West Coast event from the East Coast was surprisingly uncomplicated thanks to their hard work.


13836977395_e7c560e376The first time our team saw Pioneer Courthouse Square, we knew that the planning committee had chosen the right venue. From its central location and open floor plan to its built-in seating, the committee could not have made a better selection. Once the event was all set up, we couldn’t have kept the crowd away if we had tried!

Superstar DJ O.G. One, the DJ of the NBA Portland Trailblazers, had everyone dancing all day long (I’m surprised any of us could move the next day!), local cancer centers provided educational materials, and the inflatable colon was a major attraction to locals passing by.



Taking the March Coast-to-Coast

Taking the One Million Strong March to the West Coast really opened our eyes to how this awareness event can be shaped to each community.

When Michell told us that the city’s slogan is “Keep Portland Weird,” she wasn’t kidding! We saw some very interesting sites, including acrobats in psychedelic outfits who held our One Million Strong March signs and posed for pictures. Each community has its own personality, and Portland’s was a BLAST!

We can’t wait to see where the March will take us next. THANK YOU to the sponsors, partners, SBCCA, and Baker sisters for organizing the event.


Host a march in YOUR community!

Learn more about One Million Strong

See photos from the day

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