National Dress in Blue Day is celebrated on the first Friday in March every year. It promotes awareness of colon cancer. The day, which was brought to national attention by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, continues to promote proper screenings and continued research.
The concept for National Dress in Blue Day was originated by Anita Mitchell, a stage IV colon cancer survivor. Along with her personal battle with the disease, Mitchell had also lost her father and close friend to colon cancer. Through research, she learned of how colon cancer can be preventable in most cases. She then decided to begin searching for ways to disperse this information to others to a broader audience.
In 2006, Mitchell enlisted the help of her children’s school, encouraging students to wear blue outfits and provide a $1 donation to colon cancer research. After multiple successful events, she wanted to expand the event even further. Mitchell decided to bring the idea to Colorectal Cancer Alliance, where she had already spent considerable time volunteering. The organization then took her concept and vision and turned it into a national campaign in 2009.
Colorectal Cancer Alliance proved to be the perfect partner for Mitchell’s dream. The organization works to help the population identify and treat warning signs of colon cancer, including receiving routine screenings. According to National Today, cases of colon cancer can be identified two years earlier than waiting for symptoms to appear, and can reduce colon cancer deaths by 60-percent.