Inspiration from Meghan

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When All Else Fails, Climb Into A Colon


I am sad to say that I had to miss the ribbon cutting ceremony that took place last Thursday at the entrance of the giant inflatable colon that was erected in The Dufferin Mall. Nothing quite like seeing a couple of peeps in business attire standing at the rectal  portion of a giant colon, sweetly framed by a couple of external hemorrhoids.

Nope. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Crohn's and Colitis foundation at the Dufferin Mall(This photo by Vanessa Farquharson)

On Saturday, following a lazy morning and lunch with some friends, Josh and I decided to hit up the old Dufferin Mall and play with the colon.  We've had digestion on our minds a lot lately as we begin planning for our AMAZING-Town joint upcoming retreat focussed on Digestive Healing. We are both in agreement that when the colon is in good form, bacteria in balance and digestion is happening, health is the inevitable result.

Now, coming from an advertising background, I often wonder, when I see random promotional activities or really bad commercials, what on earth was said and presented in that boardroom that landed the client at that execution of an idea. The inflatable colon inside a shopping mall is really topping the list in that category. Now at this point, with The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation refusing to use the words diarrhea or blood in any discussion of diseases characterized by diarrhea and blood, and then going ahead and hosting an annual fundraiser with M & M meat shops where, the purchase of a hot dog, chips and soda pop helps fund research into the treatment and management of a disease that quite surely is worsened by a diet containing hot dogs, chips and soda pop, it was no surprise to see their presence at the entrance to a  giant inflatable colon inside a shopping mall.

The giant colon, located right outside Wal-Mart, was filled with the sweet mall smells of freshly baking Cinnabon and the salty, festive air of popcorn mixed with rubber (off-gassing- no pun intended-  from the giant blow-up colon). These shenangians were intended to raise awareness on colon health. Awareness was certainly raised.

The display touched on all the major colon diseases from polyps, to diverticuli, a little segment on ulcertive colitis, a spattering of Crohn's disease and videos throughout promoting the benefits of a high fiber diet.  There were dietitians on site handing out my fave nutritional document, Canada's Food Guide and Cancer Care Ontario was manning some tables of pamphlets. I picked up a magnet picturing the digestive tract.

What was missing, of course, is what is always missing. It is missing from way too many fund-raising organizations and far too many awareness campaigns. Treatment and management of disease is all fine and dandy, but what about prevention and healing? Advising people to eat vegetables, corn and wheat just isn't going to cut it.

Here are pics from our colon touring adventures.

(I am well aware that these diseases are no laughing manner. An inflatable diseased colon inside a shopping mall, however, very much is.)

Polyps need love too.
Pendunculated Polype

Sticking my head in a diverticulaDiverticula

Reaching for treasures.Josh with an inflatable diverticula

Embracing Crohn's Disease

Embracing Crohn's Disease

Getting next year's holiday card photo taken with Stage 4 colorectal cancer. My hand on my stomach was not intentional but what else can you do next to a PVC scultped cancerous tumour with a massive fan blowing to keep it inflated inside a mall.Inflatable colar rectal cancer

20 Responses to “When All Else Fails, Climb Into A Colon”

  1. Janet said…
    OMG! So, on Thursday morning I gave a lecture on the anatomy and physiology of the colon, and I showed my students a news article of the grand opening of the giant colon that afternoon - we were going to try and make it a class field trip! Like you, I figured it would be a great photo op and some major laughs if nothing else. Now that I've seen it up close, I totally have to go and get my photo taken as well - too hilarious. I guess the dilemma is whether raising awareness in a less than perfect way is better than ignoring the issue totally. Not sure what the answer is. I did some work with Colon Cancer Canada, and I know a lot of the issue for them is just getting people to talk about their colons, and being prepared to discuss symptoms they are experiencing, and seek help. Their ad campaign featured people in bathroom stalls, with the sounds of toilets flushing. A bit more realistic, I guess.
  2. Tara deRuiter said…
    nothing like hotdogs, soda pop, and chips to make for a healthy colon...oh right, it was this type of diet that caused colon cancer in my father in law. he switched to whole grains etc for about a month. he and his wife are back on a white bread, cheez wiz type of diet as she keeps bringing it home. He won't enter a supermarket so who is to blame? It was for him that I bought the tumeric capsules that they wouldn't even open as their doctor didn't think it beneficial and yes Megan, you look cute and it is nice to hear but really, we are talking colons here
  3. hahaa what a cute post! and you look FANTASTIC!! :)
  4. Brittany said…
    Spectacular. Even if the inflatable colon itself is a novelty, they should take more advantage of the attention and provide in-depth information about health and prevention. I wish I hadn't missed this when it was in my area years ago. I really hoped I could walk through wearing a brown sweatsuit. I'm kind of inappropriate like that. So they have you enter through the anus? Isn't that kind of... backwards?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      That's hilarious! If we had planned he excursion, Josh and I surely would have gone in brown.
  5. marie poulin said…
    hahaha, love it. especially the holiday card... It's great to raise awareness, but as you said, prevention is an altogether different attitude than correction. Keep spreading the word, Meghan! My colon says thank you for all the recipes and insight you've provided me in the last year ;)
  6. Andrea T. said…
    It's going to be at Queen's Park next week. Some colleagues are I are going to check it out together over lunch. :)
  7. Emily said…
    Way to make something not funny, funny. I hope the come to the states with that horrid thing!!

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