To end a disease that takes the life of an American man every 20 minutes, Chicago joins 35+ communities across the nation in hosting the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk.
ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer and Advanced Urology Associates will partner on June 4 for a 10K run and a 5K run/walk to save lives and help the more than 7,000 men in Illinois who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. A special guest at this year’s race is baseball great and two-time World Series champion Ken Griffey Sr., prostate cancer survivor who is educating men about the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer and the importance of awareness.
“When my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I began to truly understand how men and their families were fighting this disease and how the Run/Walk event was just as much about uplifting people as it was about raising awareness,” said Marlon Longid, a long-time ZERO Run/Walk participant in Chicago who lends his musical skills to the race as an event and as a performer.
Longid recalled, “One of my fondest memories is seeing my dad waiting for my sister and I at the finish line. Here was a man suffering through one of the most difficult times in his life and he was inspiring the runners of our group with his smile, charm, and positive attitude.”
Marlon Longid has been involved with the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk – Chicago for six years. After his uncle Frank and father-in-law Jim were diagnosed with the disease, Marlon dedicated himself to getting more involved. In 2012, his father Norman was diagnosed with prostate cancer and in his honor Marlon and his family formed “Stormin’ Norman’s Runners” for the race in 2013. Marlon believes that men like his uncle, father-in-law, and his father are the heart and soul of the Run/Walk.
“I’m always reenergized by the stories that I hear from the countless survivors and family members that participate in this amazing event. It’s an opportunity to not only give back to the brave people that are currently affected by this disease but to also honor those who have gone before us,” said Marlon. “I have since lost my dad, only two years after his initial diagnosis, but I return every year to remember him and his big smile at the finish line.”
“For the past 10 years, the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk has rallied communities and given participants a voice in the fight to end prostate cancer,” said ZERO CEO Jamie Bearse. “By mobilizing survivors, patients, caregivers, families, and businesses in communities across the country to raise funds and awareness, we can make prostate cancer a national priority.”
Funds raised for this year’s Run/- Walk event will provide support locally to a ZERO’s partner organization, US Too International, an nonprofit organization that provides education and support to prostate cancer patients and their families in local communities. Additionally, funds will go toward national efforts to provide research for new treatments, patient support resources, and to educate men and families about prostate cancer.
For more information on the race, visit www.zeroprostatecancerrun.org/chicago.