By Jonesa Rodriguez - June 15, 2023
Steve Cleveland had no idea his life was about to change on Oct. 28, 2013. Looking to purchase a new life insurance policy, he went to the doctor for a required physical and blood work. The results worried his doctor.
Cleveland’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test levels were high. Most men without prostate cancer have a PSA of 4, and if the PSA is more than 10, there’s a 50% chance of having the disease. Cleveland’s PSA was 8.2. At 56, he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer.
“My diagnosis caught me by surprise as I had regular PSA tests,” Cleveland said.
When he went in for his first treatment, his levels were at 18.
During the same time, his longtime friend Richard Gonzmart was putting together a Father’s Day event to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Gonzmart had also been diagnosed with the disease but at an early stage. Through this event, he wanted to get the word out and encourage more men to get their annual screenings.
He asked Cleveland if he would attend and share his story. It was an offer he couldn’t turn down.
“I’ve known Richard for a very long time. During my battle with cancer, we became even closer,” Cleveland said. “He’s an awesome man with a great soul for the community.”
Now, 10 years later, Cleveland is preparing for the 10th Annual Richard’s Father’s Day Walk and Jog, which will take place on June 18 at the Ulele restaurant in Tampa Heights. He attends every year with his family.
Since its inception, the event has been a staple in the Tampa Bay community. It brings out nearly 500 people on Father’s Day to raise awareness and funds supporting cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center. In the past nine years, it has raised more than $915,000.
As a patient of Moffitt, Cleveland says the Father’s Day celebration is more than just a walk or jog; it’s to help find a cure and spread awareness.
“My family and I enjoy Richard’s Walk because we know it’s important to bring awareness of how deadly prostate cancer can be. Men have to protect themselves,” Cleveland said.
Every six weeks, he goes to Moffitt for a blood test. He encourages all men to get screened.
“It’s a blessing to have 10 more birthdays, 10 more anniversaries and see my grandkids grow up,” he said.
Join us on June 18 at Ulele for our 10th annual Father’s Day Walk & Jog fundraiser for Moffitt Cancer Center.— Ulele (@Uleletampa) May 30, 2023
To register, go to https://t.co/OGtakmQbQy
Check out these highlights from previous years: pic.twitter.com/SeNVn4tZaF
While a PSA screening was recommended in Cleveland’s case, men 55-69 should talk with their doctor about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening.
A screening may incorporate a digital rectal exam or a PSA test. These prostate cancer screening techniques aim to identify potentially cancerous growths early in their development when the tumors are most responsive to treatment and the prognosis is most favorable.
The family friendly event will start at 8 a.m. Participants can run or walk at their own pace and distance. For more information or to register, visit richardsrunforlife.org.
RICHARD’S FATHER’S DAY FAMILY WALK AND JOG
- WHEN: June 18 at 8 a.m.
- WHERE: Ulele, 1810 N. Highland Ave., Tampa
- WHAT: Choose your own pace and distance, including a doggie run
- COST: $30 online registration until June 15; $35 day of event
- BENEFITS: Moffitt Cancer Center