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The Kevin Hays Challenge encourages cancer screenings, promotes early detection to save lives

The challenge is named after a Western New York husband and father who worked to educate others about colorectal cancer. He died in October 2021.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Kevin Hays Challenge takes just a few clicks to sign up and a minute or two of your time, but the effects are long lasting and could even save a life.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

The challenge aims to boost early detection. It is an online pledge to sign up for cancer screenings and to encourage others to do the same. It's named after the late Kevin Hays — a Western New York husband and father who battled colorectal cancer for years and who worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the disease. He was diagnosed at 28 and died in October 2021 at just 36.

His family and friends hope this online challenge will help keep his memory and legacy of advocacy alive.

Click here to sign up for the Kevin Hays Challenge.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recently lowered the recommended age for colorectal cancer screening from 50-years-old to 45-years-old. You should talk to your doctor about getting screened sooner if you have symptoms or family history.

There are prevention, risk-reduction, support, and wellness programs offered.

Click here for a list of resources by county.

Colorectal cancer symptoms include:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that's not relieved by having one
  • Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
  • Blood in the stool, which might make the stool look dark brown or black
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

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