Tunnel Vision

Giant Colon Offers Insiders’ View of Organ and Its Potential Problems

Posted March 7, 2003 at 12:41pm

Sure, we could make jokes. But that would be just too easy.

The fact is this 40-foot replica of a human colon serves a real purpose: It gets people talking. The display is part of the Colossal Colon Tour, which kicked off last week in Washington as part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Adults and children alike — including Freda Solomon (above), widow of New York Rep. Gerald Solomon (R), who died in 2001 of congestive heart failure — crawled through the 4-foot-high colon Wednesday at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington. Along the, er, tour, they laughed plenty and learned a lot, such as how healthy and diseased colons look. The display featured signs identifying polyps, Crohn’s disease and various stages of colon cancer.

Molly McMaster, a 27-year-old colon cancer survivor, came up with the idea and dedicated the giant colon to the memory of a friend, Amanda Sherwood Roberts, who died from colon cancer at 27.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and former Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green spoke at the kickoff. The tour, sponsored by the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation in Alexandria, Va., now heads to 19 other cities.