By Taruka Srivastava | Freelance journalist

September 13, 2022 | 2 min read

Actors and co-owners of Welsh football team Wrexham AFC Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are fronting the ‘Lead from Behind’ campaign to raise awareness that colon cancer is a preventable cancer.

The campaign, by Brooks Bell and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, includes a spot featuring the 45-year-olds, who made a friendly wager that Reynolds would broadcast his colonoscopy if McElhenney learned Welsh... which he did.

Lead From Behind was created in partnership with Maximum Effort, Reynolds’s creative agency, and with brand marketer, Chrysi Phialithes, former chief digital officer of (Red).

Reynolds said: “I’ve been on camera a lot. But this was the first time one has been shoved up my ass. The procedure and prep were painless but the discomfort of filming and sharing the process was the hardest part. Rob and I did it because we want this potentially life-saving procedure to be less mysterious and stigmatized.”

McElhenney added: “Ryan and I both turned 45 this year and this is just a rite of passage and a great one because it can literally save your life. It’s obviously a procedure that makes people uncomfortable, but it sure beats getting cancer. We wanted to have fun with this because as with all the weird things that happen in life, why not make it fun instead of scary?”

“This year, 150,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. They don’t need to be because colon cancer is preventable,” said Michael Sapienza, chief executive officer of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, who lost his mother to the disease in 2009 and created the Alliance, which has served nearly 2 million patients and caregivers.

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