Health a big focus at Saturday’s African-American Male Wellness Walk

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The African-American Male Wellness Walk has become more than just a 5K walk. It’s about becoming healthy and knowing your numbers through a free health screenings, particularly for African-American men.

“We cannot continue to start treating people at 50,” said Dr. Mark White.

Dr. Mark White has been one the leading physicians here at the African-American Male Wellness Walk for 14 years. Since the start of the initiative he says he’s seen it all. From men being treated for high blood pressure, diabetes, to cardiovascular disease, where they were diagnosed right here from a health screening.

“Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in our community. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, these are the things we are trying to put a halt on,” said White.

Group organizers say last year, roughly 400 men received a free health screening. This year, they hope to exceed that number.

“I am very proactive. I discovered that I have bladder cancer and If I hadn’t have been proactive I never would have found that out,” said Ed Rice.

This is Ted Harris’ first time taking part in the walk. He says he wants to be that role model and example for his son.

“I have a one-year-old son and as he grows up I want to make sure he sees Daddy going in getting screened and tested,” said Harris.

Educators here say it’s about being pro-active.

“Then it becomes, I want to be healthy. I want to eat healthy, I want to exercise. I want to do all the things that are going to make me healthy and live long,” said White.

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