The word “cancer” rarely crossed my mind as a kid. Sure, my grandfather passed from lung cancer a few days before I was born. But since then, I had the privilege of growing up without fully understanding the disease’s impact.
That reality changed two years ago. My dad, Chris Kotsopoulos, began feeling odd. Hour after hour, he frequently needed the bathroom. He never got a full night’s rest. Fatigue and low energy followed. It sounded like your typical “Flomax” commercial.
“Enough,” he said. My dad listened to his body and visited his primary care physician. His doctor delivered news nobody wants to hear—prostate cancer.
Fortunately, they found his cancer early. He underwent surgery that summer to remove his prostate, and the cancer, for good. If he had ignored his symptoms, nobody knows what might have happened.But not a lot of people get that lucky.
Thanks to the early detection practices advocated by 15-40 Connection, my dad swallowed his pride and sought help early.This April, I will be running the 2018 Boston Marathon for 15-40 Connection: A Westborough-based non-profit committed to teaching people how to detect cancer early.
When I run in April, I want to advocate for the same early detection practices that continue to save countless lives, including my father’s.15-40 Connection uses their 3 Steps Detect program to educate high schools, universities, and community organizations on recognizing the early warning signs of cancer.
The program also offers resources for patients to work with oncologists so that they receive needed treatment in a timely manner.
That being said, I agreed to set my fundraising goal high at $10,000 upon accepting my bib. All proceeds go to 15-40 Connection and their initiative to deliver the Three Step Detect program to local educators.
Unfortunately, I can’t raise this money, or run these 26.2 miles, alone. I need your help. Please consider donating to my fundraising campaign, or spread 15-40’s mission by sharing my story.
Run with me and for those young and brave enough to start the conversation and seek help. I pledge to match a fraction of any donation made to my campaign. For more information on 15-40 Connection and their Three Step Detect Program go to https://www.15-40.org/3-steps-to-early-detection/
Please remember to take care of your body and "check yourself before you wreck yourself."