Get Your Rear in Gear Milwaukee

The Asstronauts

Team Asstronauts will continue in memory of Guy Berst.  Not only was he a huge supporter of this event, he was on the committee and helped in so many ways. Thank you for your support.

Money raised via GYRG go to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.  Research.  Clinical care. Education. Raising Awareness.

Hello future Asstronaut,

Thanks for stopping by the Asstronauts landing page to learn Get Your Rear in Gear (GYRG) and why the Asstronauts came together in 2014. The survival rate for colorectal cancer is 90% when caught in the early localized stages. Unfortunately, only 40% of cases are diagnosed in early localized stages. One main aim for Get Your Rear in Gear is raising public awareness. In order to keep the survival rates for colorectal cancer at 90% people need to understand early diagnosis is the only way. In 2014, 145,000 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

When a patient presents after cancerous cells have metastasized survival rates significantly decline. The survivor rate when a patient is diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer (cancerous cells have metastasized) is 20%. Diagnosis in later stages in preventable. There are two vehicles that have proven to help. The personal testimonies from patients at various stages of the disease. By providing patients and their families an outlet to tell their story, GYRG is able to educate the community about the importance of screening. The testimonies are located on GYRG website, YouTube and other social media outlets. Secondly, the GYRG 5K walk/run is an effective way for the organization to spread the word, raise awareness and build a community specifically focusing on colorectal cancer. The 2016 5K walk and run will be the 3rd year the Asstronauts participate.

On March 4, 2016, roughly 30 months ago, the team captain, Guy Berst, presented with stage IV colorectal cancer. Mr. Berst is a former employee of the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). For over a decade Guy worked as the Director of Recruitment for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. In his position, he formed a large network on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center Campus (MRMC). Guy worked with both internal and external constituents. Faculty, staff and students from both the graduate and medical schools. Guy also traveled throughout the United States to Universities and Colleges to speak with faculty, students and staff regarding academic programs at the College.

On March 4, 2014 was a normal day at work. Moving throughout the campus to speak with faculty and students and administrative functions. The type of work recruitment was involved every day. However on the 4th Guy was feeling a little worn out. In fact, he thought he caught the flu bug. After a few hours at work, Guy left campus and headed over the Watertown Plank Road Clinic. At the end of his exam, he was told by an attending PA he had two choices: call a friend and get a ride to Froedtert Hospital OR the Watertown Plank Road Clinic would call an ambulance. Eventually landing in the emergency room. The attending nurses and doctors made an early discovery that Guy was walking around with only 6 pints of blood. The ER staff was preparing for an immediate blood transfusion. After a number of care givers within the ER collected information, performed blood tests and exams Guy was informed he would be admitted to Froedtert. The whole time in the ER Guy just wanted to get back servicing the College. He remains a significant resource for both internal and external clients. Guy didn’t like to miss work. He thought after the blood transfusion and how the migraine was over he would return to work. His admiration for Phd’s, MD’s and students pursuing their degree is the main reason Guy wanted and succeeded at representing MRMC.

After admission to Froedtert, a couple days of blood tests, biopsies, endoscopy, a colonoscopy and meeting some of Froedtert’s outstanding doctors, nurses and other care givers Guy’s life was about to change forever. He called his son, 13 at the time, he would be in the hospital for a couple days, his sister living in Colorado with the same news. A day later his sister was in Milwaukee and Guy’s son and ex-wife joined Guy at the hospital. No one was quite sure what the team was looking for but everyone was aware 2 full days in the hospital was more than the flu.

The morning of day three, a couple students pursuing their MD degree stopped in to speak with Guy. The two students working in 6 west at Froedtert were about to deliver life changing news (The Medical College of Wisconsin is 1 or 2 teaching hospitals in WI.) And, it was their responsibility to discuss the outcome from the exams and deliver the news. Guy shortly learned he presented with stage IV colorectal cancer. There were 3 people including his son, his ex and his sister that would learn about his diagnosis. These were the only three people for nearly 6 weeks Guy was diagnosed. It was close to 6 weeks before Guy started to discuss with close friends. Since his diagnosis nearly 30 months have passed. Guy has received chemotherapy nearly the entire 30 months, every other week, Y90 (liver directed radiation) and multiple scans and blood tests.

In late spring 2014, Guy began speaking with people about his illness, talking with patients at Froedtert and answering questions from many friends he had lost contact with over the years. At some point, Guy realized speaking about the illness, journaling about the illness and treatment not only helps people with a cancer diagnosis but also is very therapeutic. Guy’s new mission would be to speak about his illness, become a patient advocate and volunteer to help raise awareness about early diagnosis. When he learned about GRYG that summer, the Asstronauts formed.

The first year, about 20 people joined the team. The following year it was past 40. In 2016, the Asstronauts are going to try and break 50 participants. We would love to have you, your family, friends, co-workers join our team. If you are an employee on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (MRMC) campus please consider joining the Asstronauts. We really would like to be a team that enlists employees from the MRMC to team Asstronauts. If you are interested in participating in the run/walk and are not a member of any team we welcome everyone, anyone and maybe that’s you to join team Asstronauts. We are joined together to inspire Guy in his fight. We also are supporting anyone effected by this illness, the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women. 1 in 20 will be diagnosed in their lifetime with colorectal cancer.

Together let’s change this statistic and raise awareness to combat this silent killer.

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