For this man, colon cancer isn’t a journey — it’s a fight
A stage 4-cancer diagnosis helped John MacLeod find his mission to eradicate colon cancer — for everyone
John MacLeod, an avid golfer, is raising awareness for the importance of getting screened for colon cancer. MacLeod joined the Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) in 2016 as an ambassador and for the last two years has traveled the country to support research, education, and awareness for thousands affected by the disease. MacLeod also serves as a Fight CRC board member.
“When I help other people who are newly diagnosed or raise money to fund research, I get so much more back than what I give,” MacLeod explained. “It’s a way to feel even more in the fight than just our personal fight.”
With a background in sales, MacLeod was a natural fit to support Fight CRC’s ambassador training and fundraising programs. But one of the most rewarding periods during his time with Fight CRC, he said, was the organization’s advocacy work to encourage the American Cancer Society to revise its guidelines for colon cancer screening, lowering the age at which adults at average risk should start screening from 50 to 45. The American Cancer Society did just that, announcing the change in May 2018.
“It has the potential to save thousands of lives every year,” MacLeod said. “If caught early, the five-year survival rate for people with stage 1 colon cancer is approximately 92 percent.
In February, MacLeod, an avid golfer, joined dozens of professional and amateur golfers in Tucson, Arizona, for a Pro-Am ahead of the Cologuard Classic to raise awareness for the importance of getting screened for colon cancer. MacLeod teamed up with PGA TOUR Champions professional Tom Lehman, who fought his own battle with colon cancer nearly 25 years ago.
MacLeod also attended various events during the Cologuard Classic, connecting with other advocates for early screening and discussing the importance of having options.
"Fight CRC and the Cologuard Classic go well together. All the PGA TOUR Champions players are the right demographic for colon cancer screening – over 50 — and are celebrity advocates that can help us get in front of more people to encourage them to get screened. It’s great to see the movement grow through this access,” MacLeod said, noting he looks forward to attending the Cologuard-sponsored Charles Schwab Cup Championship in mid-November.