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Fort Wayne man takes colon cancer prevention message to the Courthouse green

Jerry Vandeveer of Fort Wayne keeps his metal rooster in place Thursday afternoon at the Allen County Courthouse green while trying to encourage passers-by to get a colonoscopy to prevent suffering from colon cancer. His wife, Linda, died in September from cancer that started in her colon and spread. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)
Jerry Vandeveer of Fort Wayne keeps his metal rooster in place Thursday afternoon at the Allen County Courthouse green while trying to encourage passers-by to get a colonoscopy to prevent suffering from colon cancer. His wife, Linda, died in September from cancer that started in her colon and spread. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)

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Learn more

To learn more about Jerry Vandeveer's colon cancer prevention efforts and his "Badge of Courage and Honor" program, go on Facebook to Colonoscopy the Gift of Life at https://www.facebook.com/Colonoscopies.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Jerry Vandeveer hopes to prevent people from suffering the same fate as his late wife, Linda.

Thursday, March 02, 2017 01:23 pm
Jerry Vandeveer spent about two hours out in the cold Thursday at the Allen County Courthouse green keeping a 6-foot-tall, metal rooster on wheels from rolling away in the gusty winds and urging motorists and pedestrians to get a potentially life-saving colonoscopy. "There's chicken cacciatore," the Fort Wayne man said of the colorful creature he bought Wednesday. "This is chicken colonoscopy.

"It is a perfect way to get attention for the cause," he added. "I promised my Linda I'd do whatever it took."

Vandeveer's wife, Linda, died in late September of cancer. The disease began in her colon and spread to other parts of her body.

If Linda had gotten a colonoscopy 10 years ago, she likely would be alive today, said Vandeveer, who with his late wife have been leaders in the creation and maintenance of the Allen County Law Enforcement/Firefighters Memorial on North Wells Street.

Before she died, Linda made him promise he would get a colonoscopy, he said. He did, and the doctor removed seven benign polyps. He has to go back in this month to have two more removed.

Jerry Vandeveer has started a Facebook page, Colonoscopy the Gift of Life at https://www.facebook.com/Colonoscopies, to encourage more people to join what he calls "the movement." So far, 45 people have said they have had a colonoscopy since Jan. 1, and he has sent a "Badge of Courage and Honor" to those living in Allen County who have given him their contact information.

He also has paid for a series of 15 billboards promoting the colonoscopy cause to run now through July around Fort Wayne, with at least two billboards on display at any given time, he said.

Vandeveer said he also plans to make more appearances with the rooster. But he's having a new sign made for it: "Don't be a chicken. Get a colonoscopy."





More Information

Learn more

To learn more about Jerry Vandeveer's colon cancer prevention efforts and his "Badge of Courage and Honor" program, go on Facebook to Colonoscopy the Gift of Life at https://www.facebook.com/Colonoscopies.

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