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Community Engagement for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

African American parents holding their small son in front of a St. Baldricks-themed backdrop

Since 2006, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has funded childhood cancer research at the University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics Department of Pediatrics, and the annual St. Baldricks Day event has been an opportunity for members of the UI Health community and the larger community to come together to raise money for childhood cancer research by having their heads shaved. This year, the head-shaving event raised over $6,400, which will help support research staff needed to conduct clinical trials. Simone Morrow, mother of a pediatric cancer patient at UI Health, said her son’s illness was unexpected but that he now has more ups than downs, adding, “It’s brave … everybody shaving their hair off in honor of all kids who have cancer. It’s very emotional.”

two women at the left, sitting in chairs, with Dr. Naylor sitting in a chair at the right, al in front of a brightly colored WGN background

The month of March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and it has been the perfect opportunity for UI Health gastroenterologist and University of Illinois Cancer Center member Dr. Keith Naylor to actively raise awareness of the importance of screening to prevent colorectal cancer. He was a guest on WVON’s popular radio show Dr. in the House with Dr. Terry Mason and also appeared on WGN’s Spotlight Chicago. In both interviews he emphasized the updated guidance that people should begin screening at age 45, or even earlier, depending on their family history. Dr. Naylor also appeared at two UIC Flames women’s basketball games, where he gave tours of CECIL, the Cancer Center’s giant inflatable colon, and shared goodie bags with information cards about colorectal cancer and the importance of screening.