The National Mall in Washington was covered with 27,000 blue flags and 100 toilet seats as part of an advocacy group's call for Congress to fund research for colorectal cancer, which is on its way to becoming the leading cause of cancer deaths for young to middle aged adults.
Sheboygan Falls, Wis.-based Bemis Manufacturing Co. donated the toilet seats to help the Springfield, Mo.-based Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) catch the attention of lawmakers being asked to allocate more funds for research and prevention programs.
Founded in 1901, Bemis ranks 36th among North American injection molders with $280 million of related annual sales, according to Plastics News' latest ranking.
As part of the Fight CRC installation, each toilet seat displayed an awareness fact or statistic about the disease, which currently is the second-most fatal cancer in the U.S., while the 27,000 flags each symbolize a projected case of colorectal cancer in someone under age 50 by the year 2030.
That's the year it is estimated that colorectal cancer will be the leading cause of cancer deaths for those ages 20-49.
The toilet seats bared a message to those in the seats of power amid an increased sense of urgency to fund more research to uncover groundbreaking treatments to save lives, according to said T.J. Stiefvater, Bemis vice president of marketing.
One in 23 men and 1 in 26 women will be diagnosed with this type of cancer in their lifetime.
"We are honored to support the second iteration of this event to bring awareness to the fight against colorectal cancer," Stiefvater said in a news release. "Virtually everyone has a relative or friend who's been impacted by this disease. We feel strongly about shining a light on it and helping raise awareness about what can be done to alleviate the suffering it causes."
In 2023, Fight CRC is asking Congress for $51 million to fund additional screening programs for the colorectal cancer control program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $20 million to create a colorectal cancer research program within the Department of Defense.
Currently colorectal cancer is the only cancer within the top five cancer killers not to have its own DOD research program.