Cancer diagnosis prompts Raleigh’s Brooks Bell to shift roles

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Brooks Bell, a well-known Raleigh digital-marketing consultant, said she has stage 3 colon cancer and will become executive chairman of her business. President Naoshi Yamauchi will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent top executive. Bell is 38.

“Though the cancer is treatable with surgery and chemotherapy, the best course of action for me moving forward is to delegate the day-to-day operations of the company so that I can focus on my health and the areas of the business I most enjoy — thought leadership and strategy,” Bell said in a statement. “Naoshi has been with Brooks Bell for 10 years and has my full trust in his ability to successfully lead the company.”

Bell wrote about her cancer experience in a new Medium article.

Bell said she has launched a campaign to raise awareness of young-onset colon cancer and encourage people to ask questions about their family history, pay attention to symptoms, and be proactive about getting colonoscopies. The American Cancer Society recently announced that since 1994, colon cancer diagnoses in young adults is up more than 50%.

“When people hear about my cancer diagnosis, I don’t want pity; I want action. I want them to question whether they should get a colonoscopy and be proactive about it.”

The campaign is called 50 Colonoscopies Under 50, with a goal of celebrating young people who have gotten screened and help challenge stigmas associated with the procedure.

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