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Culverhouse’s have final approval for Colon Awareness license plate

After a two-year long journey, the Culverhouse father and daughter duo, Merrill and Merrill Ann Culverhouse, have their final approval for the Colon Cancer Awareness license plate.

The two partnered with Rumpshaker Inc., the only statewide nonprofit dedicated to colon cancer issues. Rumpshaker was formed in 2009 by family and friends in memory of Lisa Martz to raise awareness of and funds for colorectal cancer and provide emotional and financial support for patients and their families in Alabama.

“It feels really good to finally get this approved,” Pharmacist Merrill Culverhouse said. “It has been a long two-year process.”

Culverhouse said that they had to get 250 pre-committed tags before the legislature could approve it.

“There was a lot of hard work that went into getting this done,” Culverhouse said. “We did a lot of social media campaigning and asking around for people to buy them. Some people even privately donated money to get free ones so we could hit the mark.”

Culverhouse, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013, said that this tag is a chance to provide patients with money while they are going through the same journey he went through.

“Going through the whole process of surgery, and appointments, you realize just how expensive it is,” Culverhouse said. “A lot of people don’t have the financial means to follow through with treatment or make it to doctor’s appointments on time. That why this project meant so much to us.”

All of the money raised from the plate won’t go to research, but straight to the patients for needs such as gas, food and support groups.

“This money will go to direct patient care,” Culverhouse said. “It will help for gas to get to treatments and colonoscopy prep if they can’t afford that. Since we partnered with Rumpshaker, they have food banks in Birmingham and their philosophy for that is if you can’t afford food to take care of yourself then you can’t fight the disease as well. They also have support groups, which I found out is very beneficial. They are the only ones in Alabama that have a colon cancer support group. So, we are looking at bringing one to Covington County. It is called the Semicolon Club.”

Even though they received the final stamp of approval on the license plate, Culverhouse knows that the battle against colon cancer is never a finished thing.

“We need to really pick up more people to purchase the tags,” Culverhouse said. “That just keeps fueling the engine so we can keep helping these patients.”

The Alabama Department of Revenue also approved plates for Prostate Cancer Research and Thank a Lineman.

All three plates will be available for sale beginning July 1.