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Lead From Behind, founded by Triangle entrepreneur Brooks Bell, launched today with the support of Ryan Reynolds
by Jason Parker — September 13, 2022
RALEIGH – Triangle serial entrepreneur Brooks Bell launched a new organization today that seeks to make colon cancer famous alongside the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and actor Ryan Reynolds .
Reynolds, along with fellow co-owner of the Wrexham Football Club Rob McElhenny, joined with Bell to release a new website, LEAD FROM BEHIND, and a corresponding video that aims to destigmatize a simple medical procedure that could prevent the second-most deadly cancer in the United States.
Bell, who said today in a LinkedIn post that she began to work on a vision that would drive national awareness about colon cancer in the hopes of preventing this very preventable cancer as well as seeking to destigmatize colonoscopies, would go on to launch which provides tips on how to schedule your own colonoscopy, which could prevent colon cancer.
And also today, as a part of the launch, Ryan Reynolds posted a video, including footage of his own colonoscopy, to YouTube, also sharing a post on LinkedIn.
The video appears below, embedded from YouTube, and also on the website.

About three and a half years ago, Bell chose to take news of her colon cancer diagnosis public, along with stepping down as CEO from the Raleigh-based branding firm named after her.
“Colonoscopies should not just be used to diagnose colon cancer – they should be used to prevent it,” Bell told WRAL TechWire’s Chantal Allam in March 2019 during an extensive interview in Bell’s home.
Today, Bell again took to LinkedIn to post news of the collaboration with Reynolds and McElhenny, both of whom turned 45 years old recently.
“Big news today. 3 years ago, I started working on a vision to create national awareness for colon cancer prevention and to destigmatize colonoscopies. Today, it becomes reality. Announcing LEAD FROM BEHIND. We are launching with support from Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. They both got colonoscopies after their 45th birthdays – and filmed it!” reads Bell’s LinkedIn post published on Tuesday morning.
Reynolds’ creative agency, Maximum Effort, is a partner in the effort, as well, as is brand marketer Chrysi Phialithes, the former chief digital officer of (RED).
Brooks Bell: ‘I’m 38 and I have Stage III colon cancer’

A statement from Bell and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, a partner in the LEAD FROM BEHIND initiative, notes that one in 24 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer, though it can often be prevented with an early diagnosis.
A diagnosis comes through a colonoscopy.  And as colon cancer is considered the second-deadliest cancer in the United States, according to the statement, more Americans may wish to be screened for polyps during the routine, simple medical procedure known as a colonoscopy.
Last year, guidelines for when to receive your first colonoscopy changed from after turning 50 years old to after turning 45 years old.
That’s why Reynolds and McElhenney, both of whom turned 45 this year, made a bet, the result of which culminated in each of them filming their colonoscopies.
“I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer at 38. I’m a trend, not a tragedy,” said Bell in the statement. “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!”
More than 150,000 people are likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer this year, but that could be preventable, Bell noted.
“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,” she said.
Q&A 2: Brooks Bell talks about stepping down as CEO, what entrepreneurs can learn from her experience

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