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About Us

Gut Check is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes education and research into the prevention and treatment of Clostridium septicum infections. This infection can lead to life threatening damage of the GI tract.
Your support will help Gut Check create awareness, prevention,
& fund research on the Clostridium septicum infection.

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February 2024

Annual Fundraiser

Fall 2024

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Come join Gut Check's team! We are dedicated to raising awareness and funds to battle C. septicum. You are invited to assist in our mission against the deadly bacterial infection C. septicum. Become involved by: donating, volunteering, or presenting a research proposal.

For more ways to help the Gut Check Foundation contact us at

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Current Projects

Partnering with Tor Savage, PhD. & Baylor College of Medicine to fund

ground breaking research

  • The research will involve a comprehensive prevalence study of thousands of fecal samples

  • An animal model, first of its kind, will be developed for C. septicum

  • Different strains of C. septicum will be included in the study

Our Misson

1. To increase awareness of the risk of Clostridium septicum in susceptible people such as cancer, diabetes, & HIV/AIDS patients.

2. To educate health professionals to the symptoms and risk of the Clostridium septicum infection in susceptible people.

3. To fund research on incidence and possible preventative measures to stop the Clostridium septicum infection.

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My 19 year old, funny, smart, talented and kind son, lost his life due to complications from bacteria called Clostridium septicum. Usually this organism can co-exist within the intestines and be kept in check by the immune system. Clostridium septicum, however, may overgrow in the colon when a person is immune suppressed, leading to the rupture and spread of the toxin this bacteria produces throughout the body.
Andrew was immune suppressed from the chemo he had received to treat leukemia when his intestines ruptured from this infection.

For 7 months Andrew fought off the attack of Clostridium septicum. Several times doctors believed that he was going to die, but Andrew kept fighting. He fought through 8 surgeries. Through the loss of parts of his intestines and stomach he kept fighting. With an ileostomy, and fed only through an IV, Andrew kept battling. The assault from the toxin produced by Clostridium septicum, however, had already done irreversible damage to his internal organs.

During most of this nightmare Andrew talked with his family, friends, doctors and nurses. He understood what was happening to his body. When he knew that his stomach and intestines could never heal he asked to come home. Within 2 days he died at home, surrounded by love from his tearful family and friends. Andrew was cancer free. He had beaten leukemia, but Clostridium septicum would not let him live to claim his victory.

My husband Dwight and I have formed Gut Check Clostridium Septicum Foundation, a tax-exempt non-profit foundation, to honor Andrew’s spirit. We do not want any other family to have to sit by a bed and watch their child die. Leukemia patients, colon cancer patients, diabetics, and many others who are immune suppressed are susceptible to this infection too few people know about and fewer understand.

Researchers think they can prevent Clostridium septicum by giving medicine along with the treatment for a patient's primary disease. Some scientist and clinicians have made an impressive start, but they need your help to advance the research and get the medicine to the people whose lives it will save.

Our family had no idea that Andrew’s leukemia was not the biggest foe. Your donation will not only help fund necessary research, but you will help educate other families, physicians and the scientific community about this devastating infection.

Thank You for keeping Andrew’s fight alive.

Marjorie Rees

Home: About
Information About Clostridium septicum
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What causes Clostridium septicum?

Clostridium septicum is a bacteria found in the intestinal tract of some humans and animals. This bacteria normally is not harmful in healthy people as it is kept in check by other bacteria and the immune system. If Clostridium septicum establishes an infection, it can create a toxin much like Tetanus and Botulism.

These infections can be controlled by immunization, in the case of Tetanus, and by proper canning of foods, in the case of Botulism. There is the potential to control Clostridium septicum via immunization, much like Tetanus is controlled or by an IV medication. The efforts, however, have been subdued because of the huge costs associated with getting a vaccine into those most susceptible.

The incidence of infection by Clostridium septicum appears to be rare. It is most associated with immuno-suppression and antibiotic treatments. These both occur frequently in cancer patients, especially those with colon cancer, and leukemia. Additionally, Clostridium septicum can occur as a complication in diabetics. It is thought that the organism may overgrow in the colon under these conditions, eventually leading to the rupture and spread of the toxin throughout the body.

What occurs if you become infected with Clostridium septicum?

Currently, there is no preventative therapy, except for removal of the dead tissue in the colon, small intestines, or stomach. Antibiotic therapy is then given to slow the growth of the organism and limit the toxin, but by the time of discovery of the disease, the organism and its deadly toxin may have already done significant damage. Some survive after several months of IV nutrition, antibiotics and a long expensive hospital stay. Additionally, they may require more surgeries to reconnect their intestines or have to live with an ileostomy bag the remainder of their lives.

Gut Check's mission is to prevent the effects of Clostridium septicum in those most susceptible.

Initially, we want to determine how many susceptible people actually carry the organisms and under what conditions. We also want to know how many people have actually been exposed to the organism and responded by making antibodies that can be measured in the serum.

Once we have an idea of the prevalence of the organisms, especially in those most susceptible, Gut Check will support research into clinical trials of a pre-made antibody against the toxin. This will require many years of product development, followed by clinical trials in humans.

So now what?

Currently, there is NO preventative treatment.  There isn't a quick screen for C. septicum

It takes 24-48 hours to determine if this toxic bacteria is present.  Gut Check has sponsored cutting edge research on the genome of a few strains of C. septicum, funded research on which treatments are effective, and funded a quick screening test using an animal model.  Unfortunately, the quick screen study didn't yield useful results so we continue to look at ways to diagnosis C. septicum quickly and accurately to help save lives.  Additionally, Gut Check is sparking innovative research by funding speakers on Clostridium septicum at various scientific meetings.

Help us create awareness among cancer, diabetic, and immunocompromised patients.

Help us create a dialogue among doctors and researchers.

Help us fund clinical research!

Donate Today

Make a Difference

We rely on substantial aid from generous people like yourself who care to make a difference in the way their community is run. Our nonprofit organization depends on the generosity of benefactors like you.
All members of Gut Check Clostridium Septicum Foundation are volunteers.
Every tax-deductible dollar you contribute will go to educating the public and conquering this horrific infection.
Please let others know about the threat of this infection and the work of the Gut Check Clostridium Septicum Foundation.

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Contact Gut Check Foundation

Communicate with the Gut Check Foundation to learn more about our progress, ask a question or to propose research. We appreciate your support!

(520) 250-5441

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