Two local sports figures are highlighting the importance of men heeding the dangers of cancer.
Rhonda Kelly and Tara Bush have teamed up to raise awareness and funds for Prostate and Colon Cancer Event (PACCE).
The Walk For Life event, organized by the Lions Club of Grand Cayman during the long weekend Jul. 5-7, is in its third year. Participants walk/run up to 15 miles per day for three days.
The club organized the event in honor of one of its members – Delano Hislop – who lost his battle with colon cancer in January 2011.
Alfonso Wright is one of the organizers of this event. He said that most cancers are easier to treat when caught early. “It is our aim to educate men and help them realize that they should schedule their colon, prostate and testicular exams annually, or when recommended by their doctors, “Wright said.
“Funds raised will go towards paying for tests and educational material. Some people are still uninsured in our community. No one should have to die because they are unable to pay for a colonoscopy, or prostate exams. Young men should be taught how to self examine for testicular cancer.”
Bush is a former sports reporter for Cayman Compass and Kelly, through her company Kelly Holdings, organizes the Cayman Islands Marathon with Laurie-Ann Holding and Bev Sinclair. The cousins teamed up for this challenge despite the event highlighting men’s cancers.
“Cancer doesn’t have a gender stamp on it,” Bush said. “I have a father, brothers and uncles and I believe that the more awareness we can bring to the subject, the more men will embrace the idea and get involved in their health.
“Plus, I relish the challenge and need something to keep me in shape, as I train for either a full marathon or half marathon in December. This way, I can help myself and others. I really rate people like Derek Haines, who use, fitness as a quest to assist others.”
She added, “It is my hope that the community, at least those who are unable to participate in this event, will donate a couple of dollars towards our cause.”
Kelly has another reason for choosing to participate, as colon cancer is typically thought of as a man’s cancer she hopes education will change that as her own mother is a Stage 4 colon cancer survivor.
Kelly is often inspired by people running and walking for great causes and has seen so much of this first-hand for the Cayman Islands Marathon. She aims to make it easy for people to contribute to the cause through an online donation account through www.active.com
Kelly explained, “The account is set up in such a way that all the funds will go directly to the Lions Club of Grand Cayman. You can donate from $5 to as much as you want by charging the amount to your credit or debit card. Another option is to go to the Lions Club and donate in our names.”
Anyone wishing to donate can log on to http://www.active.com/donate/rhondataraPACCE .