Home Colorectal Cancer Jacksonville family featured in national cancer awareness campaign

Jacksonville family featured in national cancer awareness campaign


David Crumpler
| Florida Times-Union

Jonathan Oritz, Gwendolyn Bryant and Tamara Shaw lost a wife, daughter and twin sister, respectively, when Tiffany Oritz died of colon cancer last year. The Jacksonville residents will be among the 24 people featured in “No Excuses,” a national colorectal cancer awareness campaign launching in March in New York’s Times Square.

Their stories will also be featured on Fight Colorectal Cancer‘s Facebook page. They are dedicating a year of volunteer time to raise awareness of the importance of screening, using their personal stories in an effort to help save lives. 

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Colon and rectal cancers make up the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the country among men and women combined, the organization said. Sixty percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with screening. 

“Each year, Fight CRC selects a group of ambassadors from across the country to represent our community year-round, and especially during March, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month,” said Anjee Davis, president of group. “These ambassadors bravely rally to raise awareness for this disease. We are certain that their stories will resonate with people and provoke them to look past the excuses and get screened.”

More good news from Jacksonville:

• The Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team Youth Corps debuted their animation project, “The 400 Project: Honoring the Enslaved Voices of Kingsley Plantation,” on Saturday at the Kingsley Heritage Celebration. The annual event, which took place virtually this year and continues again this Saturday, celebrates African heritage and remembers the enslaved who lived at Kingsley Plantation in Timucuan Ecological Heritage Preserve. 

The National Park Service and nonprofits Groundwork Jacksonville, Timucuan Parks Foundation and Jacksonville Arts & Music School worked together to develop the project as part of the Groundwork Green Team Youth Corps’ program.

The youth corps is made up of teens from Jacksonville’s urban core. They are selected, mentored and trained to implement a variety of environmental remediation and conservation projects in their community.

“The 400 Project” tells the story of Kingsley Plantation through the voices of six people who were enslaved there.

”Helping young people discover, connect with and transform these stories enriches everyone’s understanding of the unfolding legacy of enslavement,” said park ranger Emily Palmer. “Their perspective brings something new that we are truly excited to share at the Kingsley Heritage Celebration.”

This Saturday’s Virtual Kingsley Heritage Celebration begins at 10 a.m. and includes videos from Timucuan Preserve rangers every half hour. The final video, part two of “The 400 Project,” will be shown at 2:30 p.m. The celebration can be viewed on the  preserve’s Facebook page at facebook.com/TimucuanPreserveNPS or its website at nps.gov/timu/index.htm.

• Nashville-area nonprofit Soles4Souls recently partnered with Jacksonville’s Downtown Ecumenical Services Council to distribute about 5,000 reusable face masks to Sulzbacher Village and the Clara White Mission, which provide services to the homeless. They will be sharing them with their residents and those who come through the dinner lines daily. 

Soles4Souls provides new shoes and clothing to millions of people annually through charitable partner organizations in the United States and across the world. The masks were provided by Society of Threads, a men’s clothing retailer.


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CEO of Soles4Souls Buddy Teaster talks about how their micro enterprise business model works to solve poverty in the developing world.

Larry McCormack, The Tennessean, [email protected]

• In honor of National Random Acts of Kindness Day on Feb. 17, Winn-Dixie donated 500 bags of groceries to essential workers at Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The “Essentials for Essential Workers” bags were distributed to frontline workers at the Downtown, Beaches and South campuses in appreciation of their efforts.

In addition, area Winn-Dixie stores sent free bagels to a local school, fire station, police station or frontline organization of their choice.

•  A fundraiser by the Farah & Farah law firm raised almost $30,000 for Paws & Stripes, a new program by the Jacksonville Humane Society and Five Star Veterans Center. The program prepares shelter dogs for adoption by pairing them with military veterans who will be trained to work with them.

Law partners and brothers Eddie and Chuck Farah presented a check for the program Friday at Intuition Ale Works, one of four area breweries that participated in the fundraiser, along with Kanine Social, Brewhound Dog Park + Bar and Really Good Beer Stop. 

For every pint of a special edition beer called “For the Pups, Man” sold at the breweries, Farah & Farah donated $4. Additionally, it matched each dollar up to $10,000 from website donations. Friday’s check of $18,212 reflected the firm’s donation and beer matches. A total of $10,962 in donations were made online. 

Have good news? You can mail to The Florida Times-Union, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231 or email [email protected]


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