Local Colon Cancer Survivor summits the Appalachian Trail 


Caleb Payne raised awareness and funds to stop the 2nd deadliest cancer among Kentuckians

Louisville, KY: Just two years after conquering late-stage colon cancer, retired Louisville firefighter Caleb Payne has accomplished another amazing feat: hiking the Appalachian Trail.

In August, Payne stood on the summit of Mount Katadin in Maine wearing his “Survivor” t-shirt, smiling proudly after hiking alone for 5 months through 12 states.

On Sept. 24, Payne – whose trail name is “Semi-Colon” – will be appearing before a crowd at Molly Malone’s on Shelbyville Road in St. Matthews to share his stories from the trail.

The event, called “Celebrating Our Semi-Colon” will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with speaking and Q&A planned for 6:30 p.m. The event is Presented by Polymedco and is open to the public.

Payne had dreamed of hiking the trail since he was a young Boy Scout hiking the Smokey Mountains.

It wasn’t until after surviving the No. 2 cancer killer among men and women that Payne decided to make this dream a reality.

During his 2,190-mile journey, Payne stopped mountain towns to share his story and educate others about how they can prevent colon cancer. He was featured on myriad local and national media including CNN and The Weather Channel.

Payne’s journey has raised more than $4,000 for the Colon Cancer Prevention Project, a non-profit based in Kentucky that works to increase colon cancer screening rates and stop the disease. Payne has a club of supporters called the “Semi-Colon Club” who have followed his journey.

Payne said he wants to make sure people know that timely screenings can prevent this disease.

“I truly believe that if I had not scheduled a colonoscopy when I did, I would not be able to share my experience,” he said.

Payne blogged during his journey on his web site, kysemicolon.com.

For more information on the Celebrating Our Semi-Colon event or to register, visit KickingButt.org.

About the Colon Cancer Prevention Project: The Colon Cancer Prevention Project is Kentucky’s only non-profit focused solely on the fight to end colon cancer. Its work has helped Kentucky’s incidence drop 25 percent in the last decade, and mortality to drop 28 percent. More information: ColonCancerPreventionProject.org.