Fourth Annual Missoula Mile Builds Awareness, Raises Funds for Prostate Cancer Treatment
August 23, 2013
By John O’Connor, Practice Administrator, Five Valleys Urology
John O’Connor is the Practice Administrator at Five Valleys Urology and has served on the Missoula Mile organizing committee since its inception.
Tim Brooker is in great shape. He loves to run and enjoys Montana’s outdoors. He helps coordinate races and other running events throughout Western Montana and works with his son at the Runner’s Edge store in Missoula. He greets friends and strangers alike with a hearty smile and warm handshake.
But Tim has gone through some scary times when it comes to his health. Tim is a prostate cancer survivor.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American men. And what Tim discovered during his treatment surprised him: many of his friends and family didn’t know how common prostate cancer is or had any facts about screening and treatment. In fact, he couldn’t find much information outside of his physician’s office.
Tim decided to do something about this lack of awareness and try to help others who were going through the same thing.
In 2009, Tim approached his urologist, Dr. Kevin Kronner of Five Valleys Urology, with an idea. He wanted to organize a running/walking event to help spread the word about prostate cancer in Missoula. Tim proposed creating a one mile run/walk event to promote prostate cancer awareness and raise funds for prostate cancer education and treatment.
Dr. Kronner was immediately onboard. With support from Five Valleys Urology, St. Patrick Hospital, the Runner’s Edge and Run Wild Missoula, the Missoula Mile was born.
Now in its fourth year, the Missoula Mile provides runners and walkers a fun – or competitive – venue to help build awareness about prostate cancer. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, September 8, beginning at 9 a.m. It’s an official Run Wild Missoula event and has a modest entry fee – instead, encouraging participants to raise funds for the cause. There’s elite race for men and women that offers cash prizes, an open run/walk, a kids’ and families’ half-mile and a first responders’ mile.
The Missoula Mile coincides with Sunday Streets Missoula and offers runners and walkers the chance to travel the course over the Higgins Street Bridge in a safe, fun, car-free environment. Booths provide educational information, information on local treatment programs and news about national organizations that promote prostate cancer awareness or provide treatment options. Sponsors include the likes of Community Medical Center, First Interstate Bank and the Good Food Store.
Participation and sponsorships have grown each year. But, if you ask Tim, he’ll tell you he’s most proud of the partnerships that have developed with local care providers and the awareness the Missoula Mile is building in the community. This year, all proceeds go to a program at Partnership Health that offsets prostate cancer screening education and treatment costs for those with financial need. As Tim points out, one in six men in the US will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. But, early detection and developing the right plan with your doctor most often means a man won’t die from prostate cancer.