Famed Marathoner Bill Rodgers Runs Again - This Time for Prostate Cancer Awareness
As a Prostate Cancer Survivor, Rodgers Will Represent the Cause of Millions of American Men and Their Families at Monday’s Boston Marathon
April 16, 2009 -- Bill Rodgers, former number-one ranked runner in the world, best known for his victories in the Boston and New York City Marathons during the late 1970s, runs again. When Rodgers joins the field in Monday’s Boston Marathon, he won’t be running for himself or to cross the finish line first. He’ll be running to raise awareness for prostate cancer, a disease that affects more than two million American men and more than 16 million men worldwide.
Rodgers, 61, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated for the disease last year.
“There was no indication of any problem before I was diagnosed,” says Rodgers. “I’ve always tried to watch my health. Being so physically active, I was completely shocked to learn I had prostate cancer. I was also surprised to find out one out of six American men will also be in this same situation sometime in their lives. Prostate cancer is just that prevalent.”
In January 2008, Rodgers underwent a radical prostatectomy, having selected it as the best treatment option for his situation. After taking a few weeks to recover from the surgery, he began training lightly to build back his strength.
Rodgers has made it his mission to reach out to the public and share his experiences with prostate cancer—a disease that many men are reluctant to discuss. When he runs in the 113th Boston Marathon this Monday, April 20, he will be wearing an Athletes for a Cure uniform singlet to raise awareness of prostate cancer and funds for research. Athletes for a Cure is an initiative of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Rodgers hopes his prominent name in the running world will help to spread the word on the importance of early detection to other male runners and others in attendance at the race.
“National discussion for prostate cancer has grown over the years, but awareness for this disease still pales in comparison to other health issues,” says Rodgers. “By teaming up with Athletes for a Cure I’m looking to open the discussion even more so that men will feel comfortable about going to get screened and developing a prostate health plan.”
“We’re thrilled to have Bill representing us,” said Scott Zagarino, managing director of Athletes for a Cure. “Bill has been a hero to so many people over the years, and now he’ll be a hero to men and their families dealing with prostate cancer and its consequences.”
“So far, I'm almost back to where I used to be," says Rodgers. "Training for a marathon takes discipline and goal-setting. It’s the same approach I’ve taken following surgery and through my recovery."
About Athletes for a Cure
Athletes for a Cure is a fundraising and awareness program that assists individual athletes in their quest to raise money for better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer. Every dollar raised from the program goes directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The online program provides athletes with multiple tools to create a home in the athletic and fundraising community. Registered participants can upload photos, personal stories and race information on their own page; set donation goals; send emails to their friends and family through the "Friends Asking Friends" network; and watch as their donations climb. For more information, visit www.athletesforacure.org.
About the Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation is the world’s largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research focused on discovering better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised more than $370 million and provided funding to more than 1,500 research projects at nearly 200 institutions worldwide. The PCF also advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more governmental research funds. PCF advocacy has helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer since 1994. More information about prostate cancer and the PCF can be found at www.pcf.org.