April 4, 2013
A damp Saturday morning on March 23, 2013 didn’t dampen the spirits of more than a hundred people who showed up to Tom Bass Park ready to walk for a good cause: the 8th annual Hope Through Grace Walk-a-thon to Stamp out Colorectal Cancer. Upbeat music from radio station Majic 102.1 (KMJQ-FM) entertained the crowd as participants signed in.
Donning the walk t-shirts, the participants enjoyed a pre-walk warm-up led by Stephanie Collins, a master sprinter and former world champion who came to Hope Through Grace for colonoscopy services. When asked to lead the warm-up session for the walk she expressed, “I am happy to be able to give back to this awesome organization, which has really done a tremendous service for me as well as my husband.”
After the warm up, the crowd made its way to the pathway where the runners took off, and the walkers started a steady march around the lake at Tom Bass Park III.
In an interview with Khambrel Marshall of Local 2 News, Dr. Grace Butler, Hope Through Grace Founder and President, emphasized the need not only to raise funds to continue providing no cost or low cost colonoscopies to the uninsured and underinsured in the Greater Houston community, but to raise awareness that colorectal cancer is preventable. “It just doesn’t make sense that a preventable cancer is the number two cancer killer of men and women in the U.S. If more people would get screenings, preferably colonoscopies, it’s a fact that the death rate from colon cancer would decrease,” Dr. Butler remarked.
Eliminating colorectal cancer through prevention and early detection is the mission of Hope Through Grace and the reason the organization hosts a fundraising walk every year. So far 143 people have been gifted with colonoscopies by Hope Through Grace. “No, that doesn’t sound like many people for an organization that’s been around 10 years,” says Dr. Butler. “But, just one colonoscopy costs Hope Through Grace at least $1,000. That’s $1,000 times 143 people. Now you see the need to raise big money if we are to continue our program.” Still, whether 100 or 1,000 persons are screened, Dr. Butler believes that if only one person is spared suffering or loss of life, the mission of HTG is realized.
The walk also honored individuals who fought the battle against cancer or any serious illness, whether they are still living or have passed on. Dozens of signs, called “Memory Mile Markers,” decorated the walk pathway, commemorating the courageous battle of loved ones and friends.
As runners dashed their way past the finish line with walkers strolling right behind them, Hope Through Grace staff and volunteers refreshed them with water and fruit ready before they participated in a silent auction. Unique items that were auctioned off included an autographed photo of Texans running back Arian Foster, an overnight stay at The Houstonian and a membership to the Ensemble Theater.
“I think what Hope Through Grace is doing is so important,“ said Pat Johnson, as she bid on a silver plated bracelet. “I would much rather buy this bracelet here knowing my money is contributing to this cause, rather than giving it to the department store.”
The last of the walkers made it past the finish line just before the drizzle began. Dr. Butler and Dr. Everett Sandles, Hope Through Grace board member, thanked everyone for coming and acknowledged sponsors, supporters and colon cancer survivors.
April 3, 2013
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February 22, 2013
President #40 and Colon Cancer
February 22, 2013
Happy Valentine’s Day 2013- Show some love to your colon!
February 14, 2013
A member of Jones Memorial UMC, Dr. Grace Butler considers herself one of God’s miracles and she receives endless joy witnessing others win the fight against colorectal cancer. Grace experienced her life-defining moment more than 10 years ago. “I left my office at the University of Houston in tears because of excruciating pain on a Wednesday and was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer just days later – the following Tuesday.” Recalls Grace, “In my weakness and pain, I cried out to God to ask him what I could do for him through this new challenge in my life, and the answer was very clear in my spirit. He told me to Go Forth and serve his children who have been touched by cancer. I compare the experience to Abram’s – who left for an unknown destination. My assignment was so clear that I never even went back to my office to get my personal items or pictures off the wall.” My life journey had changed forever.
Once Grace had completed treatment enough to be on her feet, she knew she was destined to serve the underserved with education about the disease and its highly preventable nature, and to provide financial assistance. With only $55 available to expand a cancer ministry beyond the walls of her initial efforts at Windsor Village UMC, Grace was inspired by the Prayer of Jabez. She asked God to enlarge her territory, which ultimately became a ministry named Hope Through Grace to assist the uninsured, underinsured and medically underserved. “In those early days we referred to my kitchen as the national headquarters,” she says with a chuckle. “Then and now, we are preventing a preventable disease within the least among us.”
Acknowledged for Impact
“We are excited to be named a Top-Rated 2012 Nonprofit,” she adds. “We are proud of our accomplishments, including providing more than 100 unscreened Houston area residents with no cost colonoscopies (valued at a minimum of $1,000 each). We are also thrilled that 2012 enabled us to debut our amazing colon cancer educational exhibit, the 20 foot Adventure Colon!” This is a fun and unique way to educate the community about colorectal health.
Following Your Passion
Learning ‘transformational leadership’ on the go, Grace watched God at work. “When I got my assignment from God, I had to quickly assess the skill set he had given me to prepare for this journey,” she says. She has since learned that transformational leaders must submit to God, educate themselves on necessary areas, and draw from their passion to sustain them in the face of an inevitable lack of support.
“Transformational leadership is about making a significant change in the lives of others (stamping out a preventable disease), it is about motivating and inspiring others; it is articulating a vision and having the tenacity of spirit to pursue that vision,” she explains. “God blessed me with the ability of excellence in public speaking, and I was determined to use that to transform the health community, beginning withHouston where we are indeed saving lives.”
When Grace acquired office space to relocate the organization from her kitchen, one of her potential funders chastised her for signing a lease for office space and predicted she would not be around by the time the lease expired. That was eight years ago. Grace notes, “Transformational leadership happens when someone lights a fire under you and challenges your ability to succeed. Jesus is our model for leadership and he pressed on when he was rejected because he knew his assignment and never turned back.”
She adds, “With Jesus as our example, transformational leadership involves using your resources with the excellency of Christ and recruiting people around you who are as committed as you are.” Other leadership lessons she has learned include:
- always invite God on a daily basis to use you in his service
- assess and evaluate regularly to recognize new opportunities
- avoid seeing power as a hammer, but instead value those around you as partners, and seek partners who are as passionate as you are.
Hope Through Grace wants this March to be Different
Knowing that colon cancer is highly preventable, Grace is driven every minute of every day to change the statistics. Her fervor has landed her the attention of leaders of health agencies and onto high-level panels at national meetings. She has even given a presentation (and a Hope Through Grace t-shirt) to a President of the United States. Grace pledges to go anywhere at any time to share the “From my kitchen to the White House” story and save more lives. To request a presentation or information, see www.hopethroughgrace.org.
She adds, “I would also love for Methodists across the conference to consider supporting the 8th Annual Colon Cancer Walkathon on March 23, 8:30am, at Tom Bass Park III Pavilion IV, 15108 Cullen Blvd in Houston. “Whether walking or donating, we have many sponsorship opportunities year-round to truly save lives.”
Hope Through Grace (HTG), founded in 2002, is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that has focused on colon cancer awareness and prevention since its inception. HTG offers colorectal cancer education, screening for early detection, advocacy and other services that underscore the importance of colorectal cancer prevention. The mission of HTG is Eliminating Colorectal Cancer through Prevention and Early Detection.
February 11, 2013
Hope Through Grace received the GuideStar Exchange Seal, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. The Seal demonstrates to Hope Through Grace’s vast support-base our deep commitment has in nonprofit transparency and accountability.
In order to be awarded the GuideStar Exchange Seal, Hope Through Grace had to fill out every required field of our report page on www.guidestar.org, including our annual report, photos, videos, etc.
We hope you will check us out and tell us what you think by writing a review at the bottom of the page: http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/76-0691209/hope-through-grace.aspx
February 6, 2013
ARTICLE WRITTEN by Landmark Creations
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, just imagine the communication value of a giant, inflatable colon. Hope Through Grace, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising health awareness about colorectal cancer and its prevention, recognized the power of inflatables when used for education.
The organization told us, “During summer 2012, Hope Through Grace made an investment into the long-term health and wellbeing of the community with the purchase of a colorectal cancer educational exhibit that we call The Adventure Colon. It is a 20 ft. long inflatable replica of a human colon that provides an excellent visual of how cancer and other diseases develop in the colon. Through this exhibit, individuals better understand how colon cancer is identified, how it advances and how to lower their risk for the disease.”
So far, thousands of people have been through the exhibit brining about a direct, positive result from the use of Hope Through Grace’s inflatable colon. However, the impact is more far reaching that that. Hope Through Grace has also received numerous invitations to bring their inflatable to other communities, extending the educational scope of this balloon.
And, of course, there’s the added bonus of exceptional media exposure when you use inflatables. “Hope Through Grace has enjoyed increased local press coverage with the addition of The Adventure Colon to our health fair exhibit spaces. One local television station highlighted The Adventure Colon as an example of worthy exhibits to visit during a four-day national convention that was held in Houston this past summer.”
Hope Through Grace wants to use their inflatable to ultimately lower the cases of colon cancer by spreading the news that the majority of colon cancer cases are preventable through colonoscopy screenings.
We’re proud to have had a hand in making their dream a reality.
Read the article and view a video of The Adventure Colon by clicking on the link below.