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Screenshot 2015-03-30 11.17.51

We’re always on the lookout for creative fundraising strategies at Race Roster. Last week we came across a pledge collector for the Balanse Bum Run (yes, you read that right) that was offering up free art or poems for every donor to her custom pledge page. We reached out to Sonja Missio with a small donation ourselves and here’s the honest poem she wrote about her Mom’s journey with Colon Cancer:

When I was a kid
I was told by a neighbour
That my mum was sick

When you’re eleven
“Sick” is not a true concept
Even with your mum

She was diagnosed
With stage three colon cancer
Prognosis: not good

She had been healthy
Never smoked, drank, and ate well
This should not happen

One test proved it did
Healthy woman, mid-40s
With colon cancer

Months in hospital
With major operations
And years in chemo

And I was a kid
Not knowing what’s going on
Or what would take place

Cancer affects all
But surely, not my mother!
This should not happen

Now I’m 28
And still don’t quite understand
How could this occur?

Why did she get sick?
How can anyone get sick?
Will I too get sick?

No, this has to stop
I have to protect myself
Any way I can

So I will be smart
And (if possible)
This will not happen

No longer a kid
Now, “cancer” is a concept
And it affects me

I will get tested
With regular bum checks and

And, I will also
Fight for a cure and fundraise
I run for my bum

For my mum’s bum, and
Those fighting and those who will
Fight when it happens

Together we can
Bring awareness to the cause
End colon cancer

Oh, and by the way
In November, my mother
Will be 65

She’s cancer-free and
She’s healthy, happy, and strong
She’s why I’m running

And so others may
Have the same happy ending
Let’s make it happen!

Thanks for the support
And my mother thanks you too
These have been haikus


The above is all true. When I was a kid, my neighbour accidentally told me my mum had cancer (my parents were waiting for the right time to tell me). I didn’t understand it then, and truthfully, I still don’t understand it now: my mum is a superhero, how can she get sick?

But, if we’re honest with each other, colon cancer affects anyone. Mums, dads, brothers, sisters, neighbours, acquaintances, and strangers. Colon cancer does not discriminate on gender, age, race, or religion. Colon cancer may be democratic, but it also really, really sucks.

I am running in the Bum Run for two reasons: 1) knowing that my personal health is precious and that I need to stay active and fit as much as I can and 2) to raise awareness and funds to help defeat the little black cloud that has followed me for more than half my life: colon cancer.

My name is Sonja Missio and I’m 28 years old. I am a novice runner, an active sports journalist, and the daughter of a cancer survivor. My favourite film is Jurassic Park, I drink my coffee black, and I get regular colonoscopies to check and remove any polyps. I’m just like you and colon cancer had impacted my life.

One simple test can save a life and the more people know that, the more lives can be saved.

Sonja Missio


Nate Hayward