A Paulding resident used his recovery from cancer since 2014 as motivation for helping hurricane survivors and discovering he could run a marathon.
Dallas resident Stanley Evett has been free of prostate cancer for five years and was among a group of survivors celebrated for it recently.
Evett was an honored guest at Cancer Treatment Centers of America Atlanta’s “Celebrate Life 2019” event June 5 along with hundreds of other five-year cancer survivors.
Evett, 59, celebrated being cancer-free for five years in January. He has been married for 38 years, has two grown sons, and is retired from Lockheed and the Air Force.
He said his wife, Traci, was “very supportive” despite having to work full time during the ordeal, he said.
“She was right there during the whole treatment,” Evett said.
Members of his church, Westgate, also supported him during the treatment, Evett said.
About 13 of every 100 American men will get prostate cancer during their lifetimes with two to three men dying from it, according to the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The CDC also said those with a family history of prostate cancer are at greater risk for the disease, though Evett said no one in his immediate family had suffered from it.
However, after undergoing a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, he learned he might have the disease and was told his options were radiation treatment or surgery.
“Just the word, ‘cancer,’ throws you for a minute,” he said.
Evett then sought a second opinion at Cancer Treatment Centers, which confirmed the results. He then chose surgery to remove it, he said.
“Because of my age, if it does come back I can have radiation,” he said.
He said the clinic’s specialists gave him plenty of information about the disease.
They also helped him deal with the physical effects and the emotional aspect of the surgery.
Evett said recovery from the disease led him to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian humanitarian aid group that also assists with disaster relief efforts.
He worked with the group to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Houston, Texas, and Louisiana areas in 2017 and led to 106 deaths and more than $100 billion in damages.
In 2018, he assisted the group in Albany and in Panama City, Florida, after Hurricane Michael caused millions in damages.
“It’s just a good feeling,” he said. “They just are so thankful.”
He also began a more intense running regimen as part of his recovery, which led to him competing in half-marathons and, in recent years, the Peachtree Road Race.
“After the cancer … it helped clear my mind,” he said. “Just the fact that I can do it is a significant thing for me.”
Evett said the “more information shared, the better” about the disease which is the second-most common form of cancer behind skin cancer to strike men, according to the CDC.
All men are at risk for prostate cancer, though the risk of getting prostate cancer increases as a man gets older or is African American, the CDC said.
Each five-year survivor was to be recognized during the June 5 event and have their names added to the "Tree of Life" located in the treatment centers’ hospital lobby in Newnan, a news release stated.