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Ralph’s Butt Heads – DC Undy 5000

February 9, 2012

440 miles

That’s how far “Ralph’s Butt Heads” traveled from Boston to participate in the 2011 DC Undy 5000. Team captain Theresa said she was looking for a local 5K run for colon cancer, and the closest one she could find was Rhode Island. But when she stumbled across the Undy 5000 website, she said to herself “That’s it! I’m running through DC in my undies!” And thus, her Undy team was formed.

Ralph's Butt Heads pose at the DC Undy 5000 with a photo of Ralph Fucillo, who was taken too soon at the age of 55 from stage III colon cancer.

Ralph’s Butt Heads is named after Theresa’s brother, who passed away at just 55 years old, 5 years after being diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. Theresa says there is a history of cancer in the family, but it was the first time colon cancer made an appearance.

Ralph

“At first he thought it was just a ‘thing.’ A bug, or something he ate. But he went and got checked and that’s when they found [the colon cancer].”Ralph had some polyps removed, and Theresa and her family thought everything went well, but within months it was discovered that the cancer had traveled not only to his liver and lungs, but his brain, too.

Theresa says she and her sister wanted to do something to honor Ralph’s outgoing, loving personality. When thinking about what Ralph really enjoyed in life, Theresa answered with “beautiful women and woodwork.”

Ralph’s Butt Heads was also the top fundraising team at the DC Undy 5000, raising just over $4,000! Theresa says a lot of her donations came from friends who had previously donated to her team she formed for the 3-day Komen Walk, but some of the money was from fun fundraising tactics. Theresa’s son runs a tavern in Abbington, MA, and he had a 3-month fundraiser called “Pin a Dollar to the Ceiling,” in which patrons gave $1 and the tavern tried to cover the ceiling with bills. The tavern also had some 50/50 raffles, and by the end, $700 came from the bar fundraisers.

The 11-member team is composed of mostly family and close friends. All 11 traveled from Boston and spent the weekend in Washington, D.C., taking in the sites, which most of them had never seen. They arrived in blue, custom-made sweatshirts that they plan on wearing for all future Undy races they attend.

“I loved the event and the cause, and I just hope it gets out there and gets just as big or bigger than breast cancer. It’s not talked about too much, and I’m always posting stuff on social media about ‘hey you’re 50 – get checked!’ I just hope that one day we get to be as big, bold and beautiful as Komen.”

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