In his words: Jim Miller's story of overcoming prostate cancer

Editor's note: Earlier this week, we profiled the Gary Papa Run, held each Father's Day for prostate cancer research and awareness. This is the first in a series of profiles of race participants--and survivors of the disease.

Jim Miller, 57, Media, PA

-Jim has been married for 32 years and has two grown daughters.   

Is this your first year:

I have been participating in the Gary Papa Run for 6 years now.

Are you running as a team or alone:

I participate with a team of friends and family. I walk every year with my wife, while my daughters run. He also sometimes convinces friends and neighbors will come out and support the run and cause. 

How did you decided to get involved?

After I was diagnosed, my wife and daughters brought the idea of the run to my attention. They thought it would be a good idea for me to participate. I looked into it and have become more and more aware of the run and its efforts each year.

Would you mind sharing a little about your personal prostate cancer story:

I was diagnosed in August of 2007 and had a prostatectomy later that same year. The cancer was not detectable in his PSA (level was at .04 which was too small to read). He had a digital exam which later caught the cancer. That year he had a 12 point biopsy and has been cancer free for 6 years in September.

Are there any special people who have helped get you through this difficult time:

I want to give a big thank you to Dr. Patrick Walsh, John Hopkins Medicine. Dr. Walsh is best known for his pioneering work in the development of "the anatomic approach to radical prostatectomy", which involves nerve-sparing techniques that have reduced the probability of impotence and incontinence.

Other comments:

-   Jim’s father had prostate cancer, but fortunately survived. This is why Jim had decided to get tested regularly and opted for the digital exam over the PSA.

-   Jim says that since his PSA was negligible, he is an advocate for digital testing because the blood test is not definitive.

-   He says that it’s really good to see family participation in the run. He also says it’s nice to see males who have not been affected by prostate cancer directly and females participate. He also says it’s nice to see all the blue hats (blue hats are worn by survivors)

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