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Cancer survivors spread awareness at Alaska Men’s Run

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Rachel McPherron - 5:50 PM July 19, 2014

A race, like the Alaska Men’s Run, is perhaps the perfect symbol to show that life’s greatest challenges can be conquered one step at a time.

“I had cancer, colon cancer, about three years ago,” said cancer survivor Mark Johnston. “I had finished my chemo and set a goal to start running.”

On Saturday, Johnston was among hundreds racing for a cure.

“To bring awareness to men’s cancer issues is just as important and we need to get the community to come out and rally around that, too,” Johnston said.

Heidi and Scott Dial joined the tradition by walking.

“I just remember the first initial thought of hearing my dad diagnosed with prostate cancer,” Heidi recalled. “Now that he’s gotten over it we just want to make sure we support other people going through it.”

“Just hang in there. You’ll make it,” are Scott’s words of encouragement to cancer victims.

Carolyn and Ray Morris are participating, or rather celebrating, because Ray is five years cancer free.

“We’re here because we think it’s an important issue,” Carolyn said. “We have three sons and so very much to our interest. Since dad had it we don’t want our kids to ever not be able to get the proper treatment.”

The Alaska Men’s Run is a series of small steps that all come together to make a big difference.

The money raised by the run stays in the state to help fight the disease.


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