It’s not that the news was a big surprise to Prairie Village resident Jim Miksch. His father had battled the disease himself, after all.
But there’s simply no avoiding just how jarring it can be to hear the word “cancer” coming out of your doctor’s mouth can have.
“My father had prostate cancer, so I knew I was at higher risk,” Miksch said. “But still, you get the diagnosis and you know you’re in for a battle.”
Eleven years after undergoing a prostatectomy, Miksch is cancer free — and doing what he can to help others beat the disease as well. Miksch is one of the area cancer survivors helping organize the first-ever Prairie Village Relay for Life.
On August 25, teams of cancer survivors, advocates, family and friends will gather at Franklin Park and walk around the half-mile track for 12 hours to raise awareness of the disease in its many forms and raise money to fund research. Held in communities across the country, the Relays for LIfe are the single largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
Miksch said the Prairie Village group hopes to recruit at least 20 teams to participate. Teams must have a member walking the track at all times during the 12 hour period, and solicit sponsorships to raise money for the ACS.
Miksch says he’s never been involved in a relay himself, but has heard stories of what a powerful experience they can be.
“You hear about how cathartic it can be for people who’ve beat the disease or lost a loved one to it — to be around others who have been through the same thing,” he said. “It’s such an emotional experience.”
For more information about the event or forming a team, visit the group’s website.