Our Mission

We are dedicated to colon health and colorectal cancer prevention across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

How We Began

The passing of Rich Conklin in January of 2011 led his wife of nearly 20 years to create Hitting Cancer Below the Belt. Rich passed due to colorectal cancer at the young age of 43.

Founder and now Executive Director, Melinda (Mindy) Conklin, envisioned the ability to offer special events and services which would create awareness about cancer prevention.

Through prayer and support from family, Hitting
Cancer Below the Belt, Inc. took shape and became an entity in December of 2012 and was established as a 501(c)3 in April of 2013.

“I realize that I can only do so much and that I need to pray and
listen to what God has to say. I hope God’s plan allows us the
chance to help others. If not together, I know you will.”

Our Board and Staff

HCB2 is proud of its very active staff and board of directors, all of whom are dedicated
to raising awareness, providing education, offering colorectal cancer early detection
services, and providing patient and survivor support.

Melinda Conklin

Executive Director

Renee Malone

Program Director,
Education Committee

Marlisa Hurt

Education Committee

Roger Cassem

Events Committee

Steve Fisher

Finance Committee

Andy Vorenburg

Board Member,
Events Committee

Sheetal Talreja

Board Member,
Events Committee

Josh Duval

Board Member,
Events Committee

Scott Muscarella

Board Member
Outreach Committee

Tim Murphy

Board Member,
Development Committee

Aesha Mehta

Board Member,
Development Committee

Bill Eddleton

MBA Candidate,
Board Member,
Event Committee

Our Advisory Council


Christian Jenski


Jamie McLaughlin

In Health RVA

Tressa Breindel

MBA, Oncology
Patient Navigator,
Certified Holistic
Cancer Coach,

Debbie Schumacher

Colon Cancer Survivor

John Galloway

Program Manager for
Access Now,
Richmond Academy of

Leslie Gibson

General Information About Colorectal Cancer*

What is colorectal cancer?

  • Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon and/or rectum (also called large intestine or large bowel).
  • Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in men AND women in the United States.

Who is at risk of colorectal cancer?

  • Men and women of ANY age are at risk for this disease, but it can be both preventable and treatable, especially if it is caught at an early stage.
  • Incidence of colorectal cancer is rising in younger populations including 20-39 year olds.

What is the deadline for routine screening?

  • Recent guideline changes suggest that everyone begin routine screening at age 45.
  • There are several colorectal screening options available. Talk to your doctor about the in-home fecal immunochemical stool test (FIT), Cologuard stool test, and colonoscopy as well as other available options!

What are the risk factors for colorectal cancer?

  • It is important to know your family history of disease and to pay attention to any signs or symptoms that may possibly signal colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about blood in the stool, chronic constipation, changes in bowel habits, chronic pain and/or bloating, and stools that are thin.
  • A family history or personal history of disease, including cancer, may mean that earlier and more frequent screening is needed.
*The HCB2.org website is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, medical opinion, or treatment to any individual. HCB2.org provides current evidence-based information for educational purposes only. The information provided on HCB2.org, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for appropriate medical or professional care. HCB2 does not condone using HCB2.org in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of a proper physician or other healthcare provider. Hitting Cancer Below the Belt (HCB2) is not liable for any information or service you obtain through this site.

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