Detroit pastor says prostate check saved his life

For most men, they don't go to the doctor unless they're sick and their wives have pushed them. For a Southfield preacher, his visit saved his life.

John Beckem is in his 60's but when it comes to green veggies, he's a kid! His wife, Virginia, has told him she wants a healthy husband. 

"It's hard but, (I'm) basically trying to get him to eat right, trying to get him to exercise but its a battle everyday and some days I win and other days I lose," Virginia says. 

In 2002, Beckem's outlook changed. As a preacher at Calvary Tabernacle of Detroit, he's shared words of wisdom from the pulpit. Now, he's spreading another kind of gospel.

"I went to the doctor and he told me 'I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you have prostate cancer, its starting to spread. The good news is we caught it just in time ',"

The reason he caught it? His wife. John admits that when he turned 50, he had no intentions of going to the doctor. He said he would only go when he was sick and he wasn't sick!

Prostate cancer doesn't bring early warning signs. The walnut-sized gland sits next to the bladder, where cancer can easily hide. Often, a simple blood test, a PSA, can detect it. 

This year 28,000 men will die from the disease. 

After surgery and radiation, John now celebrates being cancer free with his family. In fact, at his granddaughter's recent high school graduation, he realized the true significance of early detection. 

"She looked at me and I saw almost like tears in her eyes, she hugged me and she said, 'papa, you being here for me has made this the happiest day of my life'," John said. "It made me realize I need to be here for them, they need to be here for me, and we can't be here for each other if we don't take care of ourselves."

John and hundreds of men like him will be celebrated at the Detroit Zoo on Father's Day at the MIU Run for the Ribbon event that honors men's health and prostate cancer survivors. CLICK HERE for details on this year's run.
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