A community leader is ringing a bell to make some noise about colon cancer.
Jerry Vandeveer lost his wife Linda to colon cancer back in 2016. Before she died, Jerry promised her two things, that he would get a colonoscopy and bring awareness to the community.
Over the last year, Jerry has paid for 32 billboards to raise awareness to colonoscopies. He is also using the draw of the red kettle to help share Linda's message about Colonoscopies.
"Whatever it takes to get the word out, that is what we do," Jerry said. "It is such a simple procedure yet it is such a life-saving procedure."
Jerry says this simple procedure is life-saving and doctors will agree with that. They recommend doing that beginning at age 50 unless you're pre-disposed or have an increased risk in which case screening should begin earlier.
Jerry said that he hopes that by having the billboards be present in the city and participating in the Salvation Army bell ringing he can help those who are on the fence about getting the procedure.
"Most people when their doctor says to get it they are all apprehensive, Jerry said. "We don't save people's lives, we help them save their own lives."
Jerry said the plan seems to be working. Several people have told him they were not going to get a colonoscopy but saw Linda's message and decided to get one. Some have even told him they found out they had cancer and were saved because of the colonoscopy.
"If it works on one person, it's all worth it," Jerry said.
Last year, Jerry rang the bell at the same location and was able to collect $1600.00 for the Salvation Army. He matched the first $400 in donations, which he will do again this year. He also shared his Linda’s message about getting a Colonoscopy.