Carol Vorderman counts down to start of Bristol Run for the Future
Television presenter Carol Vorderman is encouraging people to join her in running five kilometres in support of research into prostate cancer.
The former Countdown presenter officially launched the fifth Run for the Future event at the Marriott Royal hotel yesterday.
Money raised through the run will go to the Bristol Urological Institute's (BUI) Prostate Cancer Appeal and support research into the disease being carried out in the city.
Run for the Future, which is organised by Bristol Rotarians, has already raised £175,000 since it was launched in 2006.
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As well as raising money for research into prostate cancer the event also raises awareness about the disease, which affects more than 35,000 men a year.
Ms Vorderman became involved in Run for the Future through her long-time friend and agent John Miles, who overcame prostate cancer himself.
The presenter, who is launching a new maths business from Bristol next week, fought back tears as she spoke about taking a call from Mr Miles telling her he had the disease 10 years ago.
She said: "John has been my best friend for nearly 30 years now and on the business side has been my manager for much of that time.
"The whole axis of my world changed when I took that call."
Ms Vorderman is an advocate of the PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test, which can be a first sign that men may have prostate cancer.
Early diagnosis of prostate cancer means that about three-quarters of men survive now.
Ms Vorderman, said: "John was only diagnosed with prostate cancer because he took a PSA test after reading an article about it and that is why getting the message out is very important.
"I know there are people who say the PSA test is not 100 per cent but I absolutely, vehemently do not agree with those people and John doesn't."
Researchers at the BUI and the University of the West of the England are trying to develop a more accurate test for the disease, as well as a way of identifying whether the cancer is aggressive or less likely to cause harm.
Money raised through Run for the Future has already gone towards the research.
Ms Vorderman said: "I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Run for the Future and will be there in September.
"Run for the Future is a terribly happy day. It is a genuine celebration of all those men and the families of those who have fought prostate cancer, and also a celebration of the lives of those men who have not survived.
"It is an important event and I am very pleased to be a part of this."
Run for the Future organiser Martina Peattie said: "Run for the Future came about because we in Rotary knew of men who had died of prostate cancer through ignorance of the disease. Men know very little about their prostates and very little about the symptoms.
"We are desperately trying to get the message across that early diagnosis of prostate cancer can often lead to very successful treatment."
This year's Run for the Future event on the Downs will take place on Sunday, September 19. For more details visit www.runforthefuture.org.