Fiona Ma for State Assembly

5th annual Strides for Life auction raises nearly $120,000

STRIDES for Life Colon Cancer Foundation's fifth annual Dinner Dance and Auction, held March 1 at the Marriott San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, was a spectacular fundraiser attended by 480 people, the event's largest turnout to date! Attorney Rolando Pasquali was emcee and auctioneer.

Nearly $120,000 was raised in memory of Dylan Lawrence Cappel, a 1992 graduate of St. Dunstan School in Millbrae and a 1996 graduate of Serra High School in San Mateo, who died at 23 from colon cancer.

"The funds go toward providing the residents of San Mateo County, who are either uninsured or underinsured, the ability to receive colon cancer screening," said Dylan's father, Lawrence Cappel, Ph.D., president and chief executive of Pacific Health Alliance in Burlingame.

Cappel founded Strides for Life, a nonprofit, in 2004 after he and his wife, Barbara, lost their son in January 2002. Dylan, a 2000 University of Wisconsin graduate and a world-class rower, died while training at the university for a berth on the 2004 U.S. Olympic rowing team.

"Everyone needs to become more aware of the disease and understand that screening and early detection of colorectal cancer saves lives," said guest speaker Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. "What makes screening so important is the fact that in its early stages, colorectal cancer usually has no symptoms. However, when it is discovered at an early, localized state, the survival rate exceeds 90 percent. Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in California among men and women combined."

"We are extremely excited to announce an expansion of our partnership with Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, again recently named one of our nation's top 100 hospitals," Cappel said. "While last year we focused on raising awareness of colon cancer, this year, with the participation of the outstanding physicians from Peninsula Gastroenterology Medical Group, we will be rolling out a community-wide effort designed to provide colon-cancer screening, primarily in the Hispanic and African-American communities of our county.

"Our goal is to ensure that everyone has equal access to colon-cancer screening regardless of their ability to pay. As Martin Luther King said, 'Of all the forms of inequity, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.'"