Thousands lace up for 11th annual Gary Papa Run

Thousands of runners and walkers spent Father's Day helping to fight prostate cancer at the 11th Annual Gary Papa Run.

June 16, 2013 3:42:42 PM PDT
Thousands of runners raced their hearts out down Martin Luther King Drive to raise money for prostate cancer research in the 11th annual Gary Papa Run.

"We'd love to help and find a cure for this," said Paul Geppert.

Our own Cecily Tynan participated in honor of our Action News colleague Gary Papa, who lost his battle with prostate cancer in 2009.

"He was brilliant, a master, uniquely talented," said Jim Gardner.

Papa was a mentor to many including event co-chair Jamie Apody who works year after year to continue his fight.

"Gary wanted us to be able to sleep in on Father's Day. He didn't want us to come out here, he wants men, young men, to get checked. He didn't think it would happen to him, early detection is key," said Apody.

While the event is named after Papa, it's meant to raise awareness that the deadly disease can and does affect all men.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised each year, in hopes of saving lives.

"We're able to find the disease much earlier than ever before but we're learning that not every man with cancer needs to be treated," said Dr. Leonard Gomella, Thomas Jefferson Cancer Center.

Danny's Dream Team is one of many that participate in honor of a life lost.

"He was a 45-year-old who never gave up and battled for two and a half years," said Alyson Keegan.

Proud survivors stand honoring those who lost the fight and supporting of all the men currently battling the disease.

"I am in my 15th year, still surviving with it and receiving treatments and everything is great thank God," said Nick Spinosa.

For many, it's a Father's Day tradition to take great pride in.