NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

NMSU Cancer Outreach hosts first Boxer March: A Screen to Save event

The community is invited to attend Doña Ana County’s first Boxer March, a Screen to Save Initiative to increase colorectal cancer awareness and provide free colorectal cancer screening next week.

Photo of inflatable colon
Marchers in their boxer shorts are expected to participate in a New Mexico-style march through an inflatable colon for colorectal cancer awareness at the first boxer march on March 24 in Mesilla. (Courtesy photo)

The event, promoted in Spanish as the “Marcha de los Chones” and hosted by New Mexico State University Cancer Outreach Program, will take place from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. March 24 at the Plaza de Mesilla, located at the corner of Calle Principal and Calle de Santiago in Old Mesilla. The event features a fun march around the plaza, where marchers will be led through a giant inflatable colon. Attendees are encouraged to march around the Plaza de Mesilla in their funniest boxer shorts and learn more about colorectal cancer, diabetes and other chronic illnesses; hear testimonials from colorectal cancer survivors; and participate in free blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings.

Prizes will be awarded to the participant with the best boxer shorts and the largest team participating in the march. Raffle tickets will also be sold for a variety of prizes donated by various restaurants, including Olive Garden, Thai Delight, Salud!, Cracker Barrel, Chala’s Wood Fire Grill; stores such as Target, Albertsons and Dick’s Sporting Goods; and businesses including the El Paso Chihuahuas baseball team. All proceeds from the raffle will be dedicated to patients unable to afford follow-up medical services.

Karoline Sondgeroth, the Cancer Outreach Program Specialist at NMSU said colorectal cancer is preventable but many residents in Doña Ana County have not been screened for it.

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancers and can be easily treated if caught early through a simple screening test that can be conducted in the comfort of one’s home,” Sondgeroth said. “Although it is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, many of our Doña Ana County residents have never been screened. This just should not be the case.”

Free colorectal cancer kits will be available for the first 200 eligible attendees to take home. Screenings are especially recommended for people between the ages of 50 and 75.

“We are providing these free kits so that NM residents can complete this life-saving screening in the comfort of their own home,” said Rebecca Palacios, associate professor in the NMSU Department of Public Health Sciences. “Attendees obtaining a free kit can either mail-in or drop off their completed kits at participating health clinics, Memorial Medical Center or St. Luke’s Health Care Center, where they will be analyzed at no cost.”

Palacios added, “We hope the community will join us in increasing colorectal cancer awareness and encourage their loved ones who have not been screened to come to the event to obtain a free screening kit. Our goal is to get as many New Mexican residents up to date in their colorectal cancer screening in order to save lives.”

For more information about the boxer march or to register, contact Karoline Sondgeroth at 575-646-5065 or ksondg@nmsu.edu.

The free event is sponsored by Memorial Medical Center; St. Luke’s Health Care Clinic; New Mexico State Cooperative Extension Service; Lohman Endoscopy Center; Us Too Prostate Cancer Education & Support; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico; FYI Families & Youth, Inc.; Southern New Mexico Diabetes Outreach; Ben Archer Health Center; Doña Ana County Health and Human Services; Camp Kesem; American Cancer Society; Southern Area Health Education Center; La Clinica de Familia; CARE – Cancer Aid Resource & Education, Inc.; United Way of Southwest NM; and the Town of Mesilla.