UA’s McDonnell Calls on Arkansans to Join Fight Against Prostate Cancer; 5K Race/Walk Set for Sept. 18

By todd

Those serving as co-chairs and members of McDonnell’s “team” include Steve Sullivan, sports anchor for KATV, Channel 7; Craig O’Neill sports anchor for Today’s THV, Channel 11; Mark Rushing, sports anchor for KARK, Channel 4; David Raath, sports anchor for Fox 16 News; and Wally Hall, sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Hall and O’Neill were unable to attend the press conference and were represented by Pete Perkins, Democrat-Gazette sports writer, and Tom Brannon, KTHV meteorologist and morning show host.

The Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K helps fund education, screening and research and aims to increase awareness of prostate cancer and promote effective early detection. The race will begin at Markham and Broadway streets. Proceeds will benefit the Arkansas Cancer Research Center (ACRC) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The entry fee for the race is $15 per person for registration forms received by Sept. 1 and $20 per person for forms received after Sept. 1. For more information on the Race/Walk or to obtain a race form, call the ACRC Cancer Control Outreach Center at (501) 526-7047 or visit

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. This year, approximately 2,600 Arkansas men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and at least 300 will die from the disease.

Wednesday’s press conference began with the theme from the Olympics playing over the stadium loudspeakers and a call from Dr. Graham Greene, a UAMS prostate cancer surgeon, to “let the games begin.” McDonnell ran the torch onto the field and up to a podium on the 50-yard line. There he introduced the media personalities who are his co-chairs and team members, jokingly referring to them as his “new freshman recuiting class.”

“I’ve won 38 national championships,” said McDonnell. “Let’s form the winningest team of all – the team that beats prostate cancer. As a Razorback coach, I can tell you that there is nothing like that Arkansas spirit and its magic in pushing you to do your best and win. We hope thousands of Arkansans will join us here in Little Rock on Sept. 18. This is a unique competition. It is a competition in which everyone is on the same team aiming for a common goal – defeating prostate cancer.”

Others participating in Tuesday’s news conference included Ronda Henry-Tillman, who co-founded the race and is director of cancer control at the ACRC; Dennis Jungmeyer, a prostate cancer survivor and chairman-elect of the board of the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation; and prostate cancer survivor Herman Davenport.

Henry-Tillman thanked Kim Blann Anderson, her race co-founder, as well as McDonnell and his team members for their support. “Men as a whole are not as diligent as women about seeking medical care and being screened for illnesses,” she said. “It is harder for us to reach men. Almost every man, if he lives long enough, will get prostate cancer. The good news is that if caught early, prostate cancer is curable. That’s why we founded the Prostate Cancer Challenge 5K – to help educate the public and to save lives by making screenings available to more men.”

“It is so important what Coach McDonnell and his ‘team’ are doing here today,” Henry-Tillman continued. “I bet every man in Arkansas knows about Razorback sports and the names of these sports figures with us today. We are so appreciative for their involvement. Through their viewers and readers we hope to reach more men in our state and let them know that going to the doctor and being screened doesn’t go against their masculinity but rather helps protect it. These gentlemen deliver news to us every day. The news they are helping us bring today and at the Prostate Cancer 5K in September will help save lives.