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Edmondson football players running for prostate cancer awareness

Edmondson’s football team will have its usual Monday conditioning session on Sunday this week, for a good cause.

The Red Storm will race in the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run Sunday morning at 8:30 at Towson University. Coach Corey Johnson told the players they could have Monday off from conditioning if they participate in the fund-raising 5K scheduled for the last weekend of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Johnson said the idea originated with Edmondson principal Karl Perry Sr. after Dr. Sanford Siegel, the president and CEO of Chesapeake Urology, mentioned the race to him.

“My principal thought it would be a great way to get the guys involved and also help to bring awareness,” Johnson said, adding that Siegel picked up the $30 entry fee for each of the Red Storm players and Perry provided a bus.

“They wanted to bring awareness of prostate cancer particularly to the African American community,” Johnson said, “because it really affects African American men at a much higher rate than others."

According to the “ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer” web site, one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Nearly 240,000 new cases are expected this year with 30,000 dying from the disease.

According to the American Cancer Society, African American men are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed and twice as likely to die from prostate cancer. They are also being diagnosed at a younger age and it’s recommended that they be screened beginning at age 45.

"Being that my whole team is African American, we definitely want them to get behind this," Johnson said. "We talked about them having uncles and brothers who should get checked and myself and my coaches, we’re 40 years old and we need to get checked out, because it is silent. It comes up on you and then it’s deadly. A lot of times by the time you do recognize symptoms, you’re at an advanced stage
of the disease.”

The Red Storm players will race Sunday in one of the many run/walk events scheduled around the country that collectively aim to raise $2 million for prostate cancer awareness. At least one other high school football team – Milford Mill – is also expected to participate.

Sunday’s event at Johnny Unitas Stadium includes 10K and 5K races as well as a one-mile walk. Registration is at 6:30 a.m. and the race begins at 8:30 a.m.

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