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A Colossal Idea To Promote Colon Cancer Awareness Among America's Youth Receives Support Of Olympus America

Melville, NY - You may have read about Molly McMaster's colon cancer awareness crusade in a recent (1/06/02) article in Parade Magazine. Or perhaps you know Molly's name and face as one of the carriers of the Olympic torch last month. Given her tireless efforts and passionate commitment to the cause, chances are you'll be hearing a lot more about Molly and her Colossal Colon project during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March. It's a project of which Olympus America is proud to be a financial sponsor.

Molly McMaster was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999, on her 23rd birthday. Shortly after, this popular radio DJ from Glen Falls, NY, underwent surgery and chemotherapy. Today, as a grateful colon cancer survivor, Molly has committed herself to educating as many people as possible, as early as possible, about colon cancer. As Molly put it, "I proved that anyone can get cancer. I was young, worked out regularly and was not at risk. But I also proved that it can be beaten."

While past efforts to promote awareness amongst America's youth have featured Molly in-line skating from New York to Colorado, and running in the New York City Marathon, her newest stunt will take place right in her hometown of Glen Falls, NY.

That's where Molly and a group of volunteers will construct a huge, 40-foot-long fiberglass colon, large enough for people to crawl through. The Colossal Colon will be an educational destination for elementary and high school field trips, health classes, and college classes.

It will also be featured in a contest, which will culminate in a crawl through the Colossal Colon and the chance to win prize coupons found inside the 30 polyps located on the wall of the colon.

In 2003 and in future years, the Colossal Colon will travel throughout the United States as an educational tool to bring attention to colon cancer.

About Olympus
Olympus America Inc., is a distributor of a wide range of products and services that leverage its core expertise in optics and digital information technology for the health care, scientific, consumer, commercial, and industrial markets.

Headquartered in Melville, NY, but encompassing the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America in its scope, Olympus America is a subsidiary of Olympus Optical Co., Ltd, with worldwide revenues of over $4.0 billion for the year ended March 31, 2001.

Olympus has a long history of innovation beginning with the introduction of Japan's first microscope, and the first flexible endoscopic camera (called a gastrocamera), the latter of which led to the emergence of the field of endoscopy. This spirit of innovation, coupled with the company's steadfast commitment to improving the health and wellness of millions of people who have diagnostic or treatment procedures preformed with its products and services, has propelled Olympus to the forefront of many of the markets it serves.

With an 80% share, Olympus America is the largest full-line supplier of products and services for gastrointestinal and surgical endoscopy in the United States, while its parent company, Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., is the world leader. Recently, Olympus introduced the first adjustable colonoscope to facilitate colonoscopy screening and therapeutic treatment procedures.

The reputation of Olympus as a leader in quality and innovation grows out of a deeply ingrained tradition that places great value on establishing lasting relationships with physicians, pathologists, and other healthcare professionals involved in endoscopy and clinical and research laboratories.