In a new campaign spot aimed at fighting the increase of colorectal cancer among a younger generation, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are working on a new project called Lead from Behind.
In a bold, and important move, the acting pair, co-owners of the Welsh football club Wrexham A.F.C, allowed cameras to record their colonoscopies
“It’s not every day that you can raise awareness about something that will most definitely save lives,” Reynolds said.
The 7-minute spot opens with Reynolds and McElhenney at an appointment is with Dr. Jon Lapook, chief medical correspondent for CBS News who’s also a gastroenterologist.
“You did such a good prep that I was able to find an extremely subtle polyp that was on the right side of your colon,” Lapook said.
“This was potentially life-saving for you. I’m not kidding. I’m not being overly dramatic. This is exactly why we do this, OK, you had no symptoms.”
“I’ve been on camera a lot. But this was the first time one was shoved up my a**,” said Reynolds. “The procedure and prep were painless but the discomfort of filming and sharing the process was the hardest part. Rob and I did it because we want this potentially life-saving procedure to be less mysterious and stigmatized.”
“Ryan and I both turned 45 this year and this is just a rite of passage,” added McElhenney, “and a great one because it can literally save your life. It’s obviously a procedure that makes people uncomfortable but it sure beats getting cancer. We wanted to have fun with this because as with all the weird things that happen in life, why not make it fun instead of scary?”
Lead From Behind was founded by Brooks Bell, tech entrepreneur and colon cancer survivor, and powered by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, the largest colon cancer nonprofit organization. Lead From Behind’s goal is to make colon cancer famous, inspire millions to get checked, and save 100,000 lives.
“I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer at 38. I’m a trend, not a tragedy,” says Brooks Bell, founder, Lead From Behind and self-proclaimed Colonoscopy Enthusiast. “Around one in three people has a polyp by the time they are 45. Polyps usually have no symptoms. A colonoscopy will find them, and snip them out on the spot, preventing cancer down the road! After I was diagnosed, my 35 year old sister got her first colonoscopy and they found and removed a large polyp. It may have saved her life.”