Chicago Prostate Cancer Fundraiser Marks 10th Anniversary

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The 10th annual SEA Blue Prostate Cancer Chicago Walk & Run  is slated for Lincoln Park in downtown Chicago on Sunday, September 14, 2014.  Money raised from the event will help fund the prostate cancer education and support services provided at no charge from Us TOO International and Wellness Place, two 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. The event is presented by Us TOO, Wellness Place and UroPartners.

“Ten years ago, three impassioned volunteers directly impacted by prostate cancer decided to fight back,” said Tom Kirk, Us TOO president and CEO, and Wellness Place board member. “With a grand vision, Russ Gould, Myrna Porter and Shirley Grey took the first steps that have since inspired thousands of participants to walk or run a total of more than 30,000 kilometers over the past nine years thereby raising close to $3 million to help thousands of people across the country in their battle against prostate cancer.”

The event founders wanted to increase awareness for prostate cancer and recognize it as the second largest cancer killer of men following lung cancer.  Prostate cancer claims the lives of approximately 30,000 men annually, and another 230,000 men are diagnosed every year.  Chicago Alderman Edward Burke recently announced that he was diagnosed with the disease and opted for surgery.

“From the very beginning, empowered people passionate about fighting prostate cancer have been at the heart of the SEA Blue event,” said W. Patrick O’Hara, UroPartners chief operating officer. “It’s a grassroots opportunity for the prostate cancer community to take action and get connected through Support, Education and Advocacy/Awareness—the origin for the ‘SEA’ acronym. And blue is to prostate cancer as pink is to breast cancer.”

In the past few years the event has attracted close to 1,500 participants who run the 5K race, walk with the group through Lincoln Park carrying team flags, or relax in the tent village to enjoy the camaraderie.  Activities throughout the day include educational sessions with physician presentations, free PSA testing compliments of UroPartners, free lunch, drinks and snacks, a performance by the Jesse White Tumblers, a DJ and music, plus a bounce house, face painting and temporary tattoos for the kids.

Prior to the event, participants raise funds through donations from family and friends to support their commitment to run or walk in the event as an individual or as a member of a team. Another option is to be a virtual participant for those who want to fundraise but are unable to participate in person. Event registration includes a t-shirt and is priced at $45 for adults, $20 for kids 7 to 17, and free to children 6 and under. Primary event sponsors include AbbVie, Astellas/Medivation, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., Teva Oncology, Novartis, Dendreon, and NorthShore University HealthSystem.

“Rain or shine, a crowd sporting positive attitudes and determined spirits will gather once again for the 10th anniversary of this event,” said Kirk. “The tradition will continue on many levels for many people—from runners pushing to shave seconds off their time while racing to the finish line—to walkers waving a team flag to honor a loved one who’s lost his battle.”

To register or donate visit http://www.seablueprostatewalk.org. For more information call 630-795-1002 or visit Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SEABlueProstate or Twitter at http://twitter.com/SEABlueWalk3K.

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