Welcome to Coco - The Colossal Colon

 

Welcome to Coco - The Colossal Colon
By: Erica Byfield

Paducah, KY - With the help over more than a dozen health care groups a giant colon showed up in the Kentucky Oaks Mall.

A group of seventh grade students from Health Middle School even had the opportunity to crawl through it.

"It's weird to go through a colon," said Jason Straub.

"It's interesting... it's colorful and red," mentioned Mercedes Burkeen.

And, Blake Record could hold back his feelings either, "It's kind of weird because crawling through a colon is abnormal."

Melody Nall is with the Kentucky Cancer Program, the lead organization on the project, and said giving children this "different" experience is the key.

"We knew it was going to be pretty wacky and crazy to seeing a large colon sitting in the mall."

It took organizers more than a year to get "Co-Co the Colossal Colon" to the Heartland.

And, it didn't come cheap, "Co-Co" cost them ten thousand dollars.

Nall adds watching the children go through the exhibit makes all of the effort well worth the wait.

"You kind of get freaked out by all these bumps and stuff on the walls, but its fun," said Burkeen.

This is the first time the giant colon found its way to Kentucky, but "Co-Co" made its debut on national television in New York City in March of 2003.

Since that time the colons' showed up in 60 cities and more than 30 states.

Nall can't stress enough the need for students to stop by the exhibit.

"Ultimately, we want them to go home and ask mom, dad, grandma, grandpa have you had your colon cancer screening. We know that kids going home and saying I don't want you to get what I saw in that colon today will have a big impact."

Hopefully, this way "Co-Co" and all these kids can put a huge dent in the second leading cancer killer in the United States.