Hundreds of folks in Jenkins laced up their sneakers for a run to raise money for a man battling cancer.
Each year globally, nearly 13 million people learn they have cancer - 7.6 million people die from the disease. And while its prevalence may be well known, Roland Wierwille says it can never prepare you for the moment you hear the news.
“You know it's one of those things, you know you're age you think it happens to older or even younger people, but you don't think of it until they say you have cancer,” said Roland Wierwille.
Roland was diagnosed Hodgkin’s Lymphoma earlier this year, and while optimism has been gaining momentum since he began chemotherapy, his wife still remembers the fear and uncertainty she felt along the way.
“Losing the father. My son losing his father. I knew I could make it, I mean it would be hard,” said Tammy Wierwille.
But this family learned they aren't alone in this fight. Hundreds turned out for a fundraising run called "Epic 5k Glow For Ro" in an effort to help the family with the costs associated with treatment, Roland says that while he never expected such a gesture when his wife told him, he is very grateful.
“I said they don't have to do that. Just the thought, just praying for me, whatever it may be, that's all, but it meant a lot when she said that,” Roland said.
Cancer may directly affect 12.7 million each year, but as the city of Jenkins demonstrated Saturday, millions of additional lives are touched as well, and they aren't afraid to fight back.
The run was organized by East Kentucky Epic All Stars. Family members tell us doctors say Roland has a very high chance of beating the disease.