A Hospital Had Its 10-Foot-Long Inflatable Colon Stolen & People Want Answers

Well, there's really no other way to put this: there's a giant colon caper on the loose in Kansas. 

On the bright side, the stolen colon in question wasn't harvested from a real live human. The University of Kansas Cancer Center discovered last week that a 10-foot-long inflatable large intestine in its possession had gone missing from the back of a parked pickup truck, according to the The Wichita Eagle. Now, the hospital is searching high and low for leads, desperate to get its massive model organ back.

The monstrous, 150-pound rig is worth $4,000 and owned by the Cancer Coalition, which lends it out around the country as an educational tool to teach people about colon cancer. It's a pretty effective one, too, considering when fully inflated, it transforms into a huge, pink tunnel with different stations describing the importance of colorectal cancer screenings and how polyps can form and turn into cancerous lesions if left untreated. This past weekend, it was going to be set up at a run/walk event in Kansas City, but never made it.

"Colorectal cancer screening is the most powerful weapon we have against colorectal cancer," the Cancer Center's Surgical Oncologist John Ashcraft said in a press release about the theft. "Colon cancer is a tough subject for many to talk about and the giant, 150 pound, ten foot long inflatable colon is a great conversation starter."

According to officials, the object was taken at some point around Friday, October 19 from the back of a pickup bed in a nearby neighborhood, per the Eagle. It's unclear why anyone would want to make off with such a thing in the first place, unless they maybe mistook it for some some sort of bouncy castle of sorts that isn't modeled after the part of the body that processes waste. That, or they knew exactly what it was and are currently at work planning a really messed up theme party. 

In any case, while the Cancer Center and Cancer Coalition await its safe return, they've set up a crowd-funding page to raise money to buy another big ol' colon. However, as of this writing they've raised less than $200, so fingers crossed the original one makes it back safely. And if perchance you happen to have any info regarding its whereabouts, you're encouraged to contact the Kansas City police. 

h/tThe Wichita Eagle

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.