As a brand committed to downtherecare, Cottonelle® announced today its partnership with BLKHLTH®, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reduce the impact of racism on Black health through education and action. In its inaugural year, Cottonelle has committed a $750,000 donation to BLKHLTH with programming aimed to reach Black people with critical information about colorectal cancer, commonly known as cancer of the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among North-americans, with Black Americans having a 40 percent higher death rate compared to White Americans. However, if caught and treated early, colorectal cancer has a 90 percent survival rate.
Together, Cottonelle and BLKHLTH will work to address stigmas and reduce barriers associated with screening for colorectal cancer by providing health educational resources and free at-home colorectal cancer screening tests available at Cottonelle.com/GoodDownThere, while supplies last.
“Due to systemic racism, Black people have reduced access to health-protective resources –like livable-wage jobs, healthy foods, affordable health insurance and quality medical treatment – that could impact the prevention, detection and treatment of health conditions like colorectal cancer”, said Matthew McCurdy, Co-Founder and President of BLKHLTH. “Cottonelle approached us wanting to address these issues and we are excited to partner with them to further our mission and address the health disparities that Black people face, starting with colorectal cancer, that have a big impact on our community. Together, we’ll spread awareness, provide resources like screening, education, and financial support, and encourage our community to take preventative action”.
To reduce the financial burden of some patients, Cottonelle and BLKHLTH have partnered with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance to provide financial assistance to Black patients in need of follow-up care. Learn more about the Cottonelle and BLKHLTH sponsored financial assistance fund at Cottonelle.com/GoodDownThere. Additionally, BLKHLTH will engage ambassador organizations in five key markets including Detroit, Houston, Oakland, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. to help amplify the messages around the risks for colorectal cancer within the Black community and aid in the distribution of the complimentary screening kits in those communities.
“As a brand dedicated to downtherecare, being able to provide more access to care and education that will help save lives is an important initiative for us”, said Arist Mastorides, Kimberly-Clark North America Family Care President. “Cottonelle is proud to partner with BLKHLTH to help raise awareness around colorectal cancer and shine a light on this typically taboo topic”.
A recent survey found that one in five Black adults would not be comfortable discussing colorectal cancer with anyone, including a medical professional. To help encourage these important downtherecare conversations, Cottonelle has partnered with actor and comedian, Deon Cole, who has a close friend currently battling colorectal cancer. Deon will moderate a virtual round table discussion alongside McCurdy of BLKHLTH and leading gastroenterologist and health equity researcher at UCLA, Dr. Fola May. “Let’s Go There” will be broadcast live Thursday, March 18 at 3:30 p.m. PT/ 6:30 p.m. ET on the Cottonelle Facebook and YouTube pages.
“Obviously, I like to use comedy as a way to lighten the mood on serious topics, and we’re gonna go there”, said comedian Cole about the virtual round table discussion. “We’ve got a serious problem with thousands of Black people not having access to screening tests and health resources, so we’re going to get comfortable by talking about being uncomfortable and help get at-home colorectal cancer screening tests in the hands of thousands of Black Americans so we can help save lives”.
To learn more about the Cottonelle and BLKHLTH partnership, please visit Cottonelle.com/GoodDownThere.