Man running with adolescent girl and smiling at each other
SUPPORTERS OF THE CAUSE: Derek Jantz, PhD, co-founder of Precision BioSciences and a former postdoc in the Duke Department of Biochemistry, with Aurora Jantz.

CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K Returns After Four-Year Hiatus







Northgate Mall
1058 W Club Blvd
Durham, NC
This event has passed.
two runners cross a finish line, each under a blue banner that reads Crush It
CRUSHing it: Duke GI medical oncologist Sean Xiang Wang, MD, MPH, and Allison (Gleason) Besch, director, Career and Professional Development Center, Student Services, Nicholas School for the Environment, cross the finish line.


Another CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K event is in the books. The popular local event, hosted by the Duke Cancer Institute GI Oncology multidisciplinary program, returned as an in-person event after a four-year hiatus with a run/walk through the historic Watts Hospital-Hillandale neighborhood. The 2020 event was virtual and there were no CRUSH events in 2021 and 2022.

The organizers wish to thank everyone who came out and supported the cause.

The funds raised by the event, in the amount of $21,889, make more innovative research at DCI possible — helping to transform cancer care at DCI.

The top fund-raising team was A Little Less Behind captained by six-year colorectal cancer survivor Andy Riley, a DCI patient who formed the team and participated in his first CRUSH event in 2019. His team raised $5,130 this year.

"Six years from my diagnosis I am cancer-free!" he wrote to his supporters on his team page. "The Duke Cancer Institute's 2023 CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5k is a great way to give back to a great institution that made such an impact on my life."

The number 2 fundraiser was "Homegrown Berry," which raised $3,030, and close behind, "The AssAilants," which raised $2,898 for the cause.

The next CRUSH event will be in March 2025 during colorectal cancer awareness month.

man with CRUSH t-shirt under the CRUSH sign holding a ribbon with a medal attached to it
Jatin Roper, MD, a DCI gastroenterologist and gastrointestinal cancer geneticist, came in 12th place in the men's 40-49 category. Dr. Roper is an assistant professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and Cell Biology.

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S.

The American Cancer Society estimates that by the end of 2023 there will be 106,970 new cases of colon cancer and 46,050 new cases of rectal cancer. Every year more than 50,000 will die from colon or rectal cancer.

While recent advances have significantly contributed to improving screening and treatment — resulting in a growing population of colorectal cancer survivors — colorectal cancer remains an important public health concern.

The DCI GI Oncology Multidisciplinary Program is committed to caring for patients with colorectal cancer and raising public awareness of colorectal cancer and is actively engaged in basic science and clinical research that focuses on all aspects of this disease from prevention and early detection to innovative treatments and survivorship.

Below are some additional photos captured of team members and supporters at the 2023 CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K event.

a man and a woman in CRUSH t-shirts and race bibs running
Larry Watkins and Zenobia Atkins power through at the 2023 CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K
man with a blue CRUSH t-shirt and race bib receives a medal from a woman in an orange CRUSH t-shirt. Both are smiling.
NURSE POWER: DCI Clinic 3-2 (GI Oncology) nurse Al Pick, Clinical Nurse III, receives his medal from DCI research nurse Sherri Haley, former GI Clinical Research Manager. Pick placed 4th in the men's 30-39 category.
a table draped in blue with signs that read Clinic 3-2 and Duke Medical Oncology and posterboard with photos of clinicians
REPRESENTING: DCI's GI medical oncology table welcomes CRUSH participants with donuts and an introduction to the team.
boy with his mother, both wearing CRUSH event t-shirts
ALL SMILES: Emily Bolch, assistant research practice manager, DCI melanoma and GI oncology clinical trials, with her son Daniel.
Table draped in black with insignia of Durham County Public Health with sign that says "When you do #2, do you look at your poo" and a poop emoji toy
Durham County Public Health, a much-valued partner in cancer health education in our community, was handing out colorectal cancer test kits and providing other educational material.