Update: This year’s Mayberry Cook-off raised $5,525!
Family raises funds and awareness in memory of loved one
North Texans were able to eat delicious BBQ and get educated about colorectal cancer this past weekend at the 7th annual Steve Mayberry Memorial Cook-Off. The event was held in Carrollton, TX, on Sept. 22-23.
The Mayberry Memorial Cook-Off awarded cash prizes to their winners, and for the steak contest winner, a spot on the Steak Cook-Off Association Championship at the Billy Bob’s Texas Hall in Fort Worth. Besides the cook-off, the Bum Rush 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk was held on the second day. Runners and walkers ran through an inflatable colon at the end of the race.
The annual event raises funds for Fight Colorectal Cancer’s research and education efforts. Some of Fight CRC’s efforts include giving free resources and guides to cancer patients, prevention campaigns, advocacy and research.
About the Cook-Off
The cook-off was founded by Suzan Mayberry and her family after Suzan lost her husband, Steve, to colon cancer in 2010. Steve also tested positive for Lynch syndrome, a hereditary syndrome that causes a marked increased risk of colorectal and other cancers.
“I know it takes money to reach and educate people,” says Suzan, “This is why we raise and donate as much money as we can, I want everyone to know they have to get a colonoscopy, they have to know their family history, they have to know to get tested for Lynch.”
After losing her husband, Suzan says she lost her “entire life,” but that organizing the cook-off and creating awareness is how she gives a purpose to her grief.
“We’re surrounded by good people and good food, and it’s all for a good cause,” says Suzan, “Every year we have all these cooks come here and participate, and I think we’ve created a wonderful, supportive community.”
Suzan is focused on creating awareness not only for colorectal cancer screening and prevention, but Lynch syndrome testing as well. Most of her immediate family has already gone through genetic testing.
“We’ve had both positive and negative [Lynch] results, but the important thing is that we know where we stand,” says Suzan, “It is so valuable to understand your risk, testing positive for Lynch isn’t a death sentence. It gives you knowledge and the tools to fight.”
Suzan hopes that every year she’ll be able to reach a larger audience and educate more people. She is passionate about her advocacy, and wants to save as many lives as possible, so that no one else goes through what her family went through when they lost Steve.
“I’ll never stop doing this,” says Suzan, “I will never stop talking to people about Lynch and colon cancer; I will forever continue this fight.”