LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For many in Kentuckiana, the annual Families for Fathers walk and run is becoming a family tradition. For survivors, it is nothing short of a victory lap.
"You're walking along there and you see miles of people, just miles of people walking and running and jogging," recalled Bob Der Ohanian about the excitement among the crowd,
And most along the route are there for the purpose of raising awareness about prostate cancer.
Bob first laced up his tennis shoes five years ago; just three months after surgery to remove aggressive prostate cancer. By the time the walk rolled around, he had already gotten the results of his first post-op blood test.
"He said, 'Bob, I've never had one come out 0.0, but he says you're cancer free right now,'" said Bob about the moment his surgeon at Metropolitan Urology delivered the incredible news.
"You just light up," Bob said about hearing the news, "and every time he does the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, why, and he tells me, 'you're cancer free,' I light up."
Bob's laughter filled the room as he tries to explain how it feels to hear those words, 'cancer free.'
Once again at this year's Family for Father's 5K Run & Walk, free prostate screenings will be offered. Metropolitan Urology's Dr. Jeff Goodwin says in addition to the test, it is a great opportunity for dads to make lasting impressions explaining.
"It's also a good time for fathers to be good role models for their sons," said Dr. Goodwin.
According to Dr. Goodwin, African American men and those with a first degree relative with prostate cancer should get their first prostate screening at age 40. Other men can wait until age 50.
"They (men) need encouragement, they need to know it's not painful" says Bob.
It involves a rectal exam and a simple blood test. Both take only seconds. Not getting the test says Bob is the fearful part,
"I've seen people die from prostate cancer and it's not good," said Bob.
Bob's dad was diagnosed with the disease and that prompted him to start getting tested. He was diagnosed at 54 and now 5 years later at age 59, he'll lace up the tennis shoes again Father's Day weekend.
"It feels great," Bob said. "It's just a personal, I feel like it's a personal accomplishment."
The walk/run is Saturday, June 19 from 8 a.m.-Noon at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. All the proceeds raised benefit the Kentucky Cancer Program for prostate cancer education.