Getting Cool for Colon Cancer


Last year advocate Sheila Schrack didn’t only leave Call-on Congress with ideas and tools on advocacy, she left with a new mission.

After hearing that Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Lisa Fund dedicates 100 percent of its contributions to late-stage colorectal cancer research, she decided to use her fundraiser, “Polar Bear Dip – Cold for the Cure” and support efforts specifically geared for colon and rectal cancers.

This year on New Year’s Day, she gathered her community once again. Friends, family members and others who lived cities away drove in to jump in. The temperature didn’t matter – everyone came out to honor those who’ve survived and remember those who’ve passed from cancer.


Starting the ‘Dip’

It was after her experience with colon cancer in 2006 at age 38 that Sheila began the Polar Bear Dip – Cold for a Cure. Her husband’s annual tradition of jumping in a cold lake on New Year’s Day gave her the idea of starting a unique fundraiser to not only raise money, but also increase awareness of cancer. She wanted to organize something a little different than the traditional run/walk teams. A cold jump in the lake seemed to fit her vision perfectly.

That small spark of an idea grew in 2007 as Sheila planned her first fundraiser. Over the years it’s become a fixture in the Mansfield, Ohio community. Survivors, caregivers and others impacted by cancer have jumped into the lake to do their part in the fight and get behind a cure for cancer. This year, 264 participants got cool for the cause.

Traditionally, funds have gone to support general cancer awareness with the American Cancer Society. But in 2014, thanks to her experience at Call-on Congress, Sheila is designating some of money raised to support our research grant through the Lisa Fund and a scholarship to the 2014 Call-on Congress.


Advocate to Activist

It’s advocates like Sheila who create lasting effects of Call-on Congress. Sheila was one of our three scholarship recipients who was chosen to attend our three-day training at Call-on Congress in 2013. She took her experience with us in D.C and carried it home to become an activist fueled by a passion for a cure.

Each year, we hope our impact isn’t only on the Hill during Call-on Congress. The ultimate goal of our advocacy event is to empower our advocates and encourage them to act on their passions and engage their own communities. It is incredibly important to have advocates leading the way in our mission.

Whether it’s volunteering your time, donating money or meeting with a member of Congress, it’s advocates like Sheila who are making colon cancer a priority not only on the Hill but at home too!

We’re ecstatic that the scholarship fund opened the door for us to meet Sheila. And, we’re thankful for the passion that Sheila took home … a passion that motivated her community to jump in a cold lake for cancer.

The kind of passion we need to get behind a cure.


Read the newspaper article about Sheila’s Polar Bear Dip

Host your own personal fundraiser

Attend Call-on Congress

Learn about the Lisa Fund


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