Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of profiles of participants in the annual Gary Papa Run, scheduled this year for Father's Day, June 16. The Run, named in honor of the longtime 6ABC sports anchor and director, support prostate cancer research and awareness.
Bob Nardi is a 68 year old from Wenohah, NJ. He is married with two children and four grandchildren. Bob was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 61 and continues to fight the cancer today. He enjoys spending time with his family, especially on the day of the run.
Is this your first year in the Gary Papa event?
No, I first participated in the run the year after Gary Papa passed away and have been participating every year since.It really hit home and gained public interest once Gary Papa passed away.
Are you running as part of a team or alone?
I always run with Team Nardi which usually has around 50 participants (walkers and runners)! Team Nardi is made up of myfamily, friends and coworkers who have supported me year after year.
What does running in the Gary Papa Run mean to you?
I’ve had multiple co-workers and clients with prostate cancer before my diagnosis, and I would talk to them about what they were experiencing. Since my diagnosis, I’ve continued to talk to my clients diagnosed both before and after him about their experience. I want to help them feel better and know that they’re not alone.
The Gary Papa Run is a way to help others. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the cause and raise money to give to research and others. It’s also a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends. It is on a perfect day, Father’s Day, and is a very peaceful experience.
Are there any special people who helped get you through this?
In addition to my supportive wife and kids, Dr. Naomi Haas of University of Pennsylvania Medicine has been great. She is down to earth and we have a great and positive relationship that has really helped me since my diagnosis.
I try to mentally deal with the diagnosis and instead of looking down the road, take it one day at a time. I’m Catholic and believes that God or a Guardian Angel is helping me through, which I’ve lucky to have!
When people are first diagnosed, they feel doomed and are scared, but I advise them to take a step back because it’s not the end of the world or the kiss of death. Keep your head up and know that there is still life to live!
Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.