Race to raise prostate cancer awareness draws 2,000
Runners take off for the 5k run in the 8th Annual Father's Day 5k/10k Run and Walk for Prostate Cancer on Sunday.
Runners head for the finish for the 10k run in the 8th Annual Father's Day 5k/10k Run and Walk for Prostate Cancer on Sunday.
Eli Baumbach, 7, of the North Side, watches for his dad, who was running in the 8th Annual Father's Day 5k/10k Run and Walk for Prostate Cancer. Eli was watching the finish at Riverfront Park from the Mister Rogers statue near Heinz Field.
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By the time Janice Barry's husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, it was Stage 4 and had already metastasized.
He was 45.
Bob Barry fought and went through a variety of treatments, but he died 15 months later.
On Sunday, Ms. Barry and about three dozen of her family members and friends walked as Team Bob Barry in the 8th Annual Father's Day 5k/10k Run and Walk for Prostate Cancer, hosted by the Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer.
"For me, personally, it's to let normal people know -- at 40 years of age, you need to get your brother, dad, husband, uncle to the doctor to get checked," Ms. Barry said. "I don't want any more young widows. I don't want anymore young children to be without their fathers."
Among those who participated in the North Shore run/walk were a number of school friends of the Barrys' daughter, Justine, 13.
There were more than 2,000 participants on Sunday, including 20 teams, set up to run in memory of a loved one.
"It just overwhelms me and gives me hope," said Ms. Barry, 46, of Avalon.
Edward J. Anderson, who died July 12, 2009, at age 84, was one of the inaugural members of the event, and served as volunteer coordinator.
"He had hoped all of us would be involved," said his son, Paul.
On Sunday, Paul Anderson and 17 other members of the family and several friends turned out in force.
His mom, Dorothy, 83, handed out water.
Edward Anderson, who was a prisoner of war in World War II and then became a landscape architect, was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 70.
After that, spreading the word about education and early treatment became his pet project, his son said.
"He became a very strong advocate of education."
With 10 sons, he urged them to get tested and treated.
Paul Anderson, who heeds his father's advice, has a digital rectal exam annually and gets a blood screening twice a year.
But his oldest brother, Mike, 61, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and then waited six years before beginning treatment.
Paul Anderson thinks part of the delay for men is that the idea of having a rectal exam is foreign to them.
That type of thinking needs to change, he said.
Which is exactly the idea behind the Obediah Cole Foundation 5k. It was founded by former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Robin Cole, a prostate cancer survivor.
The group is named after his father, who died from complications of prostate cancer at age 49.
Jerry Livingston, who founded the race after his prostate cancer returned in 2002, was astounded by the turnout on Sunday.
The very first year -- in 2003 -- there were only about 200 participants.
He hopes to reach 5,000 by the event's 10-year anniversary.
This year, for the first time, the race was known as the Man Up Father's Day 5k/10k Race for Prostate Cancer.
"Man up," Mr. Livingston said. "Don't leave your family in a lurch because you're too proud to get tested."
The Obediah Cole Foundation provided early detection blood screening for 800 men so far this year and has six more testing events scheduled.
First Published June 21, 2010 12:00 am