Tess Fraser, with son Patrick, daughter Evelyn and husband Don, hold underwear to promote the Undy 5000, a race to raise colon cancer awareness.
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Tess Fraser doesn’t mind showing off her underwear to make a point: Colonoscopies save lives.

Fraser lost her mother, Barbara Hogg, to colon cancer two years ago. Mom was 59, and died of the second-leading cancer killer behind lung cancer, even though 90 percent of cases are preventable.

“People don’t talk about this the way they talk about other cancers,” said Fraser, 33, of North Buffalo, who channeled her grief by organizing Buffalo’s first Undy 5000 run and walk a few weeks after her mother’s death. The third takes place next Saturday in Delaware Park, where Fraser will be joined by hundreds of others, including her husband, Don, and their children, Patrick, almost 4, and Evelyn, 10 months. Join them by registering at undy5000.org or before the 9 a.m. 5K race and 1K fun run and walk.

Knowing what you know now, has it instructed your eating?

It has, completely. My husband and I made a promise to ourselves and the sake of our kids that any steps we can take healthwise to try to prevent illness or cancer in our future, we will take. We don’t want our children to go through what we’ve gone through with my mom. We go to doctors for regular checkups and it’s not just colon cancer. We both started seeing dermatologists. We certainly eat very healthy at home. We cook a lot and are into fresh, local ingredients: fruits, lots of vegetables, low-fat, high-fiber foods, and we are teaching our children to eat that way as well. There’s no processed food in our house.

– Scott Scanlon

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