A sunny morning with birds chirping, Marcia Rivas is gently rocking in her chair on the front porch. Surrounded by colorful plants, she looks out on the garden her late husband worked on up until the last weeks of his life.
"He’d get up every morning very early and turn the music on and play it all day for the birds outside that was a lot of fun, Marcia Rivas said.
She still listens to the sounds her late husband Rick dedicated his life toward. An accomplished bass player known across Jacksonville’s music scene.
"He got cancer rather young, and that’s the kind of the tragedy is how young he was," Rivas said.
Rick died in 2016 at age 62 after prostate cancer metastasized and treatments stopped working.
"He really did take care of himself right up to the very end and I’m proud of him for that," Rivas said.
It’s a disease that over 1 in 10 men will encounter at some point in their lives according to national cancer research. A statistic Marcia is eager to change. Not in time for Rick, but for her sons or millions of others. A reason why she’s lacing-up her shoes and getting ready to walk in the Zero Prostate Cancer 5k.
"They need more money for research so they can find other treatment options," Rivas said.
Treatment starts at home, she adds. Talking openly about prostate health and going to the doctor is critical to getting ahead of the disease.
"At Rick’s memorial service last year I told all the men in the audience to get their PSA checked regularly because that is how they discovered this cancer," Rivas said.
In the meantime, her family will carry on Rick’s memory at the 5k: hoping for support and to hear the cheers, while the sound of Rick’s bass echoes.
The walk will start this Saturday morning at 9 o’clock outside of Intuition Ale Works in Downtown Jacksonville.
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