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Tulsans rally to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 14, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his lifetime.

A group of survivors and advocates is hoping to make this message loud and clear by urging men to be proactive about their health.

Sean Walkingstick has done it. He beat prostate cancer and rang the bell to signal his end of treatment.

“That one is for the end of this chapter in the journey of my life,” Walkingstick said.

It's the sound of victory. Three chimes mark the end of a hard-fought battle.

“That one is for the friends that I made along this way and that one is for the two people who kept me motivated to keep going, “he said.

Walkingstick can proudly say he no longer has prostate cancer, but the journey to get here wasn't easy.

He explained what the diagnosis felt like.

“When you first hear the “C” word, all of a sudden, everything just spins,” he said. “It's like you’re in a movie, and you know that scene where it's spinning around and the guy has the realization like ‘wow something big just happened to me,’ and that's what it felt like the first few days."

Walkingstick’s father passed away from prostate cancer, so he figured during a routine checkup, he'd ask the doctor to check his PSA, or Prostate-Specific Antigen level.

“The normal range for a PSA is 0 to 4, and then from like 5 to 8 is they're getting pretty worried and you're getting biopsies,” Walkingstick said. “Anything about that, they are going, ‘You've got cancer.’ Mine was 73."

He began an aggressive treatment plan, diagnosed at stage three. Walkingstick is now cancer-free, but he isn't the first man to receive unexpected news from his doctor. He's urging other men to get checked because early detection saves lives.

“Other than if my dad hadn't gone through the process, I wouldn't have even known,” he said. “I wouldn't have even known to get myself checked."

Walkingstick, along with ZERO Out Prostate Cancer, is joining forces to raise funds to give men the resources and knowledge they need to lead healthy, long lives.

"Urologic Specialists is the largest urology group in three states, and we have partnered with to support men with prostate cancer,” Donna Bowers, a nurse navigator with Urologic Specialists, said.

Bowers said a patient with prostate cancer dies every 15 minutes. That's why she'll be joining others in the fight by participating in a ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk on Saturday to raise money for the cause.

“What we did was partner with a patient advocate foundation and establish a foundation for men in Oklahoma with prostate cancer,” Bowers said. “In treatment [they] can apply for a $300 grant to use toward transportation each year."

This is the third year for the race and already it's raised $109,000.

The hope is simple: to keep enhancing treatment options for prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in men.

“Historically, they were told 3 to 5 years once metastasis, and we really feel like we are changing those statistics,” Bowers said.

Registration for the Run/Walk begins at 7:30 a.m. and is open to everyone.

For more information, click here.

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