As some of you may have heard, on November 7, 2010 I'm going to be running the New York City Marathon as a fundraiser for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. I've done a half marathon in the past, but this will be my first full distance marathon. I'm both excited and pretty intimidated. I'm confident I can do it, but there's going to be alot of work between my current fitness level which comfortably takes me 13 miles and a level of fitness that will allow me to comfortably finish the 26.2 miles in Central Park this fall.
The reason I'm doing this is simple - prostate cancer killed my uncle and could have killed my dad.
I headed west last summer and got married to my wonderful wife Noel. We were married in San Diego and spent the week out there with the kids. My parents joined us for a part of the week.
On Thursday my dad called me at 5 am saying he was sick and needed me to come down to his room. The fact that it was 5 a.m. and my dad wasn't just toughing it out was a clear red flag that it was something big.
Without going in to too much detail, Dad's gall bladder had called it a day. As part of the diagnosis of Dad's troubles the hospital ran a bevy of diagnostics. One of those was an MRI of his abdomen. This discovered a spot on his kidney. Turned out it was probably stage 2 or 3 cancer. Had Dad not gotten sick there would have been no reason to MRI his abdomen and the cancer would still be on his kidney doing the nasty things it does. And even though my dad had been vigilant about getting prostate screenings - after losing his brother - during blood
work at the hospital they discovered problems with his prostate. Turns out there was cancer there too.
Fortunately they caught the cancers early enough and after a couple surgeries, my Dad's healthy again and cancer free.
Not everyone's dad is that lucky though. Estimates are that 28,660 American men lost their lives to prostate cancer in 2008.
Fortunately, prostate cancer can be beat. That's why I'm running. Annual screening saves lives. One man in every six will get prostate cancer during his lifetime, but if caught early, nearly 100 percent survive. ZERO - The Project to End Prostate Cancer - http://www.zerocancer.org/ - has some great resources that explain how prostate cancer can be kept at bay.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I'm running the marathon as a fundraiser to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation. I've committed to raise $3,500 to support the programs of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Your tax-deductible contribution will fund ZERO's efforts to end prostate cancer by providing comprehensive treatment information to patients, education to those at risk, and conducting more free screenings than ever before. By clicking here: http://tinyurl.com/TomJZERO you can donate online to support my race and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. If you'd prefer to donate with a check, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you my address.
Thanks in advance for your support of my race and the fight against prostate cancer.