Free medical screenings at African-American Male Wellness Walk can save lives

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Let’s face it, men typically don’t get regular check-ups. Either they’re too busy, they don’t recognize a serious condition, or maybe they’re ignoring the symptoms that it’s time to make a change.

That’s why NBC4 is a proud media sponsor of the 13th annual African-American Male Wellness Walk. It’s more than just a 5K–the event literally saves lives. Nurses and doctors at the walk are on hand to give free medical screenings.

Throughout the month of March, the group is featuring 1,000 real-life stories about how the walk is making a huge difference.

NBC4’s Mike Jackson told his own story on NBC4 Friday morning.

“Seven years ago, I went to the walk just as a social opportunity. You know, a nice time for fellowship,” he said. “It was a 5K walk and I struggled to make that walk, and four months later I was seeing my physician, and that’s when I was diagnosed with extreme high blood pressure and the early stages of cardiovascular disease.

“The interesting point about it is my doctor is one of the organizers of the walk. So, the walk kind of saved my life. So often men, particularly men of color, just do not go to the doctor on a regular basis. So, here’s an opportunity to get all the screenings; an opportunity to check out your numbers. You know, people say you’re only able to spend 8 minutes with your doctor. Well, here’s an opportunity where you can really bend the ear of a physician. I think that when something like this is provided in the community and you’re not taking advantage of it, you’re sticking your head in the sand, and that’s the wrong thing to do when it comes to your health.”

Cecil Ahad of Columbus says he took advantage of the free screenings at the walk–and it saved his life.

“I went to the walk because I knew my doctor was going to be there,” he told NBC4’s Mike Jackson. “Because he helps with screening and I wasn’t feeling good the night before. He checked me out, check my pulse, checked my heart rate. He said, ‘you probably need to go to the emergency room.’ They checked me in right away and said, ‘you’re not going anywhere, you need to be here.’ My heart rate was like 145. It should be between 60 and 80-90. It could lead to a stroke, death actually death. I never thought it would happen to me. You know, I was always taking good care of myself.

“This is your chance if you don’t go all year dude, if you don’t go because you don’t have insurance, health insurance, (you) can’t go to the doctor’s. So here’s the opportunity once a year to do that.”

This year’s Male Wellness Walk in Columbus is Sat., Aug. 12 in Livingston Park.

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