Annual Run/Walk Raises Awareness About Prostate Cancer

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) —  It’s an event that saves lives.  This weekend marks the 5th annual Great Prostate Cancer Challenge.

Monique Griego has more on the event’s goal.

An annual exam in 2007 turned into a life-changing moment for Jim Lilley.

“I think anybody would say that the punch comes up and blindsides you,” said Lilley.

Doctors told him he had prostate cancer.

“You’re on the other side of the fence of the group that does have cancer,” said Lilley.

One in six men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime — 30,000 a year will die from it.  That’s about one man every 18 minutes.

It’s a very important cause Jeff Zemencik, Director of Chesapeake Urology, says was overlooked until now.  This Sunday, the 5th annual Great Prostate Challenge will be held at Johnny Unitas Stadium at Towson University.

“You’re there with fellow survivors or family members who have seen their loved ones survive,” said Lilley.

The 5k or mile fun walk brings together survivors with those who’ve lost someone.

The goal is to raise money for screenings and treatments, and to get men checked.

“Men kind of don’t want to talk about it.  Maybe they don’t want to go get screened and it’s just important to raise that awareness,” said  Zemencik.

Like many diseases, when it comes to prostate cancer early detection and treatment are key.

“If it’s diagnosed early, there’s a very high — 95 plus — cure rate if caught early,” said Zemencik.

Lilley got his exam early.

“It left me a great many options to choose from, as far as my treatment went,” said Lilley.

Now cancer-free, he hopes this weekend helps encourage others to do the same.

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