WASHINGTONBaseball star and colon cancer survivor Eric Davis
has launched Score Against Colon Cancer, a public
awareness and screening campaign that will capitalize on the St.
Louis Cardinals sluggers celebrity status and personal experience.
The Score campaign is an educational effort of the Eric
Davis Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology, the American College
of Gastroenterology, Cancer Care, Inc., and the Lexon Group, which is
developing a blood serum test for colon cancer that uses the TGFB4
(ebaf) protein marker.
Mr. Davis leads the campaign, which includes a 60-second TV public
service ad in which he describes his reaction to being diagnosed with
colon cancer and urges men age 50 and over and those under age 50
with a family history of cancer to get screened. He will also make 21
appearances at hospitals and cancer centers in 17 major league cities
during the course of the 1999 baseball season to publicize the need
The campaign offers educational information through its toll-free
number (1-877-SCORE-123) and its website (www.scorecrc.com).
Individuals can ask to receive colon cancer educational material or
to speak directly to a certified oncology counselor.
Score Against Colon Cancer is something I truly believe
in, Mr. Davis said at a press conference to announce the
campaign. Ive lived it. I know. Im here to tell you
that colon cancer can be beaten.
Mr. Davis came out of retirement in 1997 at age 35 to play with the
Baltimore Orioles. He soon developed abdominal pain, fatigue, and
weight loss, all of which he initially attributed to the
grueling aspects of being a professional athlete, he said. But
on June 9, he entered Johns Hopkins University Hospital, where he was
diagnosed with colon cancer. Surgeons removed a tumor the size
of a baseball, he said. He returned to the Orioles roster in
1998, and in the final month of the season batted around .400. He
signed with St. Louis in the off-season.
Ironically, Mr. Davis was soon given the opportunity to urge his
childhood friend and fellow ballplayer, Darryl Strawberry, to have
suspicious symptoms examined. Mr. Strawberry was also diagnosed with
colorectal cancer, which was treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
During his chemotherapy treatments at Johns Hopkins, Mr. Davis said
he visited with cancer patients, including those terminally ill. It
was then that he decided to set up a foundation to raise money for
colon cancer and pediatric cancer. The important thing, I felt,
was to create an awareness campaign, he said.