37-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Launches Virtual Run to March for Colon Cancer Awareness

Updated: Feb 21, 2021

Cancer survivor Erin Soto is celebrating her recent cancer remission status this March by hosting a virtual run (or walk) to raise money and awareness for colon cancer.

Last year was challenging for everyone, but for me, arguably more so than others.

An advanced colon cancer diagnosis was the last thing I ever expected to receive at 37-years-old. I was an avid runner, health nut and very busy mom-of-four and wife. Life interruptions like this weren't supposed to happen to people like me.

Race Director, Erin Soto

I was under the misconception that I was invincible. I thought colon cancer was what happened to other people and that this was the sort of thing you need to worry about later in life.

My own doctors didn’t even suspect cancer because I appeared too young and seemingly healthy. Cancer doesn’t run in my family and genetic testing would later prove that I had no predisposition for cancer.

I was diagnosed with colon cancer in November 2019 and had to undergo surgery to remove a 2-inch tumor and six inches of my sigmoid colon, chemotherapy and 8 months of cancer treatment.

After my last round of chemotherapy last summer, I went out with a bang as the first cancer patient with COVID-19 admitted to the ICU at Kaiser Permanente in Irvine, California. I was told it was a miracle I survived and finally pronounced cancer-free at the start of 2021.

That is the reason I launched Butt Kickerz Virtual Run to March for Colon Cancer Awareness Month in hopes that others will consider joining me in this timely movement to run (or walk) with me.

The goal of the event is to be the world's largest virtual race for a cure. We want to start the conversation that needs to be had. I feel like this is my second chance at life now that I have recently regained my health. I consider this run my greatest come back challenge. I hope I can use this to show others with colon cancer that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

People are dying because people aren’t talking about the need to screen. My objective is to change that as an advocate speaking out for Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

The theme of the run is Check Yo Self. Early detection saves lives. When caught early colorectal cancer is one of the most treatable cancers. When you join Butt Kickerz Virtual Run, you support screening awareness efforts that demystify the process and inform others about the importance of early detection. Our focus is on preventing cancer through encouraging on-time screening and education.

No one walks alone. A cancer diagnosis is one of the most frightening days in a person's life. I believe no person should ever walk alone on this journey. Fundraising efforts support cancer patients through thoughtful gifts, efforts to raise awareness, and donations to research.

This year in the United States, 53,200 people are expected to die of the disease and 147,950 cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. It is the nation’s second leading cause of cancer death, but one of the most preventable.