2021 Cologuard Classic


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Fight CRC was proud to partner with Exact Sciences for the 2021 Cologuard Classic, February 26-28 in Tucson, AZ.

This was our fourth year participating in the annual golf tournament sponsored by Exact Sciences. Three colorectal cancer survivors were able to attend in-person alongside PGA Tour Champions. And 12 survivors were honored virtually by PGA Tour Champions who wore ribbons to honor these survivors during the tournament. Read the stories of those honored both in-person and online below!

Mike Mancini

Mike Mancini is a stage IV colon cancer patient and survivor. Diagnosed in 2017 at age 42, Mike has endured many surgeries and over 60 rounds of chemotherapy. He is a 2020-2021 Ambassador for Fight CRC and continues to be an advocate for patients, caregivers, and survivors. Mike is a fitness enthusiast and enjoys working out, skiing, hiking, and of course, playing golf.

Mike was paired with PGA Tour Champion, Jerry Kelly. Mike was also selected to tee off the first day of the tournament!

Simon Ross

Simon is a stage III colorectal cancer survivor, father, and ostomate. He was diagnosed after experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer, which pushed him to get screened. “I am passionate about bringing awareness around colorectal cancer and providing support for not only the patients, but others around us who are also impacted by this disease,” said Simon.

Simon was diagnosed with rectal cancer at the age of 34 with no family history of cancer. He successfully completed chemotherapy and radiation, and then had surgery to remove his tumor. Simon had quite the journey. After his initial surgery, he went through multiple additional surgeries, two temporary ileostomies, and now has a permanent colostomy. Since recovering, he has lived his life to the fullest and is a proud father of twin boys and currently expecting his third child.

Simon played alongside Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, John Smoltz.

Melvin Fernandes

Melvin is a stage III colorectal cancer survivor and ostomate, diagnosed at 42-years-old. “I am four years out from my diagnosis, and I feel it is time to spread the word about colorectal cancer. I want to educate people about this disease and help prevent deaths. I fight for those that can avoid or prevent getting this disease," said Melvin.

Mel grew up in Harare Zimbabwe, and has lived in Cleveland, Ohio since the early 90s. Mel was diagnosed with stage IIIc rectal cancer in late 2016 at age 42 after attending the Ryder Cup in Chaska Minnesota with his brother, a GI doctor, who noticed something seemed wrong with him. 

A subsequent colonoscopy led to finding the mass. Mel had pelvic exenteration in March 2017 which left him with two ostomies. Mel has continued to receive treatment as needed off and on over the subsequent four years. He has continued playing golf throughout his journey and he joined fight CRC as an Ambassador in 2020.

Melvin played alongside PGA Tour Champion, Jerry Kelly. 

Meet the Virtual Participants 

Brendan Davis

Brendan Davis was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2018 at the age of 28 and has been going through the fight ever since. Colorectal cancer has been the toughest battle of Davis’ life but he has met a lot of amazing people and had some life-changing experiences as a result. When he was diagnosed, he had no idea about colon cancer and the warning signs so he is thankful for organizations like Fight CRC and Exact Sciences that advocate for the prevention and awareness of this disease. Brendan is hopeful that he will be cancer-free in the near future and will continue to live life to the fullest!

PGA TOUR Champions professional Kenny Perry represented Brendan in this year’s tournament. 

Jay Overy

Jay Overy was diagnosed with stage II rectal cancer in November 2017. December 2nd Overy had surgery to remove a 5 cm mass, January 2nd, 2018 ileostomy reversal. He had many challenges during his recovery but luckily enough he had his own personal nurse, his wife! March of 18 after exercising he felt he needed to share his story to help educate others on colorectal cancer! Jay and his wife became ambassadors with Fight CRC and that has given them an amazing platform to share their story! They worked with the wonderful people at cologuard on policy for screenings. Jay doesn’t like what cancer did to his body but it definitely changed him as a person. He doesn't have time for bad days!

PGA TOUR Champions professional Tom Lehman represented Jay in this year’s tournament. 

Steve Greene

Hearing “I’ve got bad news, you’ve got cancer” in April 2013 was devastating for Steve Greene. The journey since has been a blessing. Steve doesn't wish those words or the tough times on anyone, but he feels so fortunate to have connected with Fight CRC and the folks from Exact Sciences and so many others in the CRC community. “We are on a mission to find a cure and help those impacted until that day comes!”

PGA TOUR Champions professional and World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els represented Steve in this year’s tournament. 

Kim Houston

Kim Houston was diagnosed at the age of 45 with stage III colon cancer. Kim experienced several symptoms which led to her being misdiagnosed 2 times before a gastroenterologist recommended and performed a colonoscopy. At that point, the tumor was located in the Sigmoid colon, surgically removed followed by 6 months of chemotherapy. 

PGA TOUR Champions professional KJ Choi represented Kim in this year’s tournament. 

Evelyn Reyes

Evelyn Reyes' life before cancer was fun. She was doing a lot of traveling and seemingly did not have a care in the world! She had bought her first home and moved in the year she was diagnosed. She had not even finished unpacking when cancer hit.

It was a scary time because Evelyn never imagined she would get cancer. Since 2004, she has had two rounds of chemo, five weeks of radiation, four major surgeries, mets twice, a couple of biopsies, infections that required drains, blood clots, and pneumonia. Evelyn is here and alive and slaying cancer! Her final surgery was in 2008 and that was a right lower lobectomy. They removed 25% of her right lung and she was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. Fortunately or unfortunately, she won”t have to do chemo again. Now it’s really just a waiting game. Hopefully, the cancer won’t come back. But guess what? She is too busy living to worry about it.  She is still here!  Living it up one day at a time and enjoying every minute that she is still here. She is hosting her own TV show, drinking some fine red wine, dancing up a storm and doing all the things that make her happy. Cancer cannot stop Evelyn!

PGA TOUR Champions professional  Brett Quigley represented Evelyn in this year’s tournament. 

Ed Stratton

Ed Stratton was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer and is still in treatment. “COLON CANCER SUCKS. But not everything about Cancer sucks. Cancer also highlights a lot of great things you have going in your life. Because of cancer, I’m closer to my faith, family and friends. Anything that does that, can’t be all bad,” said Ed. 

PGA TOUR Champions professional Corey Pavin represented Ed in this year’s tournament. 

Evan White

Evan White was diagnosed in 2017 at Stage III, age 24. He had a cancer recurrence in 2019 at Stage IV, age 27. Still undergoing treatment. "Colorectal cancer has completely changed my life. It has put an incredible strain on my body, mentally and physically, and on my relationships, but it has taught me how to live each day to its fullest,” said Evan. 

PGA TOUR Champions professional Mark Brooks represented Evan in this year’s tournament. 

Walter Hickman

Walter Hickman is a husband, father of 4, and a stage II colon cancer survivor. He is currently in remission and he thanks God for that every day, directly after his bout with cancer he began advocating, and representing Fight CRC. He advocates nationally and locally. Walter will do whatever is required to raise awareness.

PGA TOUR Champions professional, former Atlanta Braves pitcher, and MLB Hall of Famer John Smoltz represented Walter in this year’s tournament. 

Lauren Tatum

Lauren Tatum was diagnosed in May 2017 with stage IV colon cancer. Tatum is the mother of two beautiful boys who have their own health issues. Her oldest, Xavier who is 6 was diagnosed with mild moderate autism. Her youngest, Zahir was born with an imperforate anus and also had a colostomy bag for 10 months. Zahir and Lauren are both reconstructed now and they both share the similar colostomy scars. Her children taught her how to fight and are why she fights. Lauren received treatment at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. Growing up she never was hospitalized and now she finds herself spending a lot of time in the hospital. Through her cancer journey she has found her purpose. Cancer has changed her life in so many ways but through it all she has found strength that she never knew she had. When she was diagnosed she thought about her kids and her family and she said this fight was not about her, this fight is for her children, family members and the African American community. Lauren wants to inspire and change the stigma of health in the African American community. This has been a journey, fighting stage IV colon cancer has shaped her into a different person physically and emotionally. She has a new purpose and drive. She gives all praise, honor and glory to the lord for being there every step of the way. Lauren believes in miracles and she believes she is a miracle in the making!

PGA TOUR Champions professional Marco Dawson represented Lauren in this year’s tournament. 

Teri Griege

In 2008, Teri Griege had been noticing a little blood in her stool and was becoming increasingly quick to fatigue. She went to see her doctor two weeks later, and the doctor ordered a colonoscopy and a CT scan. A few days later, on September 17, 2009, at the age of 48, Teri was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, and it had already spread to her liver.

Of all the cancers, “colorectal cancer” may be the most uncomfortable to talk about, but Teri has now made it her mission. Normal screening doesn’t begin until age 50, but she was 48 when she was diagnosed.

She believes that in sharing her story, lives can be saved. Her sisters, for example, who were 61 and 62 at the time, had never had a colonoscopy. Two weeks after Teri was diagnosed, they both made appointments. Tragically, to their surprise, one had precancerous polyps and the other had stage III colon cancer. They are both doing well, and they all now work together to spread awareness about this disease whenever and wherever possible.

Colorectal cancer gave Teri an opportunity to reframe her life, and it taught her a lot about herself. She is now making each day count, and although she is not as physically strong as she used to be, she plans to participate in running and triathlon events as long as she can.

PGA TOUR Champions professional, defending Cologuard Classic champion, and World Golf Hall of Famer Bernhard Langer represented Teri in this year’s tournament. 

Joanna Haydon

Joanna Hayden vividly remembers feeling frightened and incredibly scared to hear statistical survival rates following a stage III colorectal cancer diagnosis. Death had always felt so remote, but suddenly, she was forced to face her own mortality at 31 years old. She is an extremely active female who teaches indoor cycling and spends her weekends running long distance. Joanna was shocked.

Before her first round of chemotherapy, a long list of side effects flooded her ears, “you will never be able to carry your own children;” “your hair will fall out and become extremely thin;” and “you will likely enter permanent menopause.” There was too much to process, let alone accept, in such a short time. Although she felt broken, Joanna moved forward.

Following chemotherapy, as her body healed, her emotional health deteriorated. She was riddled with stress and anxiety, and she found herself constantly worried about a recurrence. Through these moments, Joanna became even more aware of how finite life is, and she is blessed for this wisdom. Cancer has taught her that openly sharing her story provides healing, not only for herself but others, and can serve as a reminder to so many that we never fight alone.

PGA TOUR Champions professional Ken Duke represented Joanna in this year’s tournament. 

Carole Motycka

Carole Motycka is a Stage IV Colorectal Cancer, Living Donor Liver transplant survivor and Heart surgery survivor and Care Partner to Michael Mancini who resides in Connecticut. She is full of boundless energy and enthusiasm and is committed to advocacy and awareness of Colorectal Cancer specifically in the Early OnSet diagnosis area. Motycka is originally from Ohio, a Buckeye at heart, and attended The Ohio State University. She is the mother of 4 young men and 2 girl puppies, and served as the Youth Director at her church for many years. 

Being diagnosed with hereditary colorectal cancer at a young age thrust her into the field of advocacy work. She is the co-founder of Bluem, a Colorectal Cancer patient access space. Motycka is active with Fight CRC where she serves as a 2020 Ambassador.  She works with The Colon Club as the fundraising chair, she also represented the program as a 2020 OneTheRISE Magazine survivor model. In addition, Carole serves as a hereditary cancer ambassador for The Global Colorectal Cancer Association. Carole also works with The Cleveland Clinic supporting research in genetic disease and opportunities for early detection and screening initiatives. She serves on the Center of Early Disease Detection steering committee at The Cleveland Clinic. Motycka was also named 2019 YWCA Women of the Year for Advocacy for her work in the CRC advocacy area. Carole is committed to a CURE through early detection, education and understanding of hereditary risks, and advanced screening opportunities for all.
PGA TOUR Champions professional Jerry Kelly represented Carole in this year’s tournament.