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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As we gear up for the Susan G. Komen race for the cure this weekend, we have an example of why early detection is so important.

Ed Leet has become an unlikely spokesperson.

“I don’t think I had been as scared as I was when I was told that I had breast cancer,” Leet said.

Leet received his diagnosis in October 2018, he became one of the faces in a life or death fight. He said he took a hard fall when he was doing work outside of his house and fell off of a ladder.

Leet said he broke five ribs and punctured his lungs, and was rushed to the hospital.

“After a scan that came back he says Mr. Leet, you have a lump under your breast and eight weeks later I had a full mastectomy,” Leet said.

Leet then began his breast cancer treatment. He said the chemo treatment was probably the most brutal thing he has ever gone through.

Elaine Hare is the CEO of Susan G. Komen Memphis Mid-South and said the Race for the Cure is the biggest annual fundraising event for breast cancer treatment and research.

Hare said while breast cancer in men is rare, it happens.

“Well, 2600 men, about, are diagnosed every year,” Hare said. “So, compared to 276,000 women. So that’s less than 1%, but it is, as he said it’s usually through trauma because there is no normal annual mammogram or screening process.”

It is why the funds raised by the Race for the Cure are so crucial. Things are in full gear for this weekend’s race, but because of the pandemic, this year’s race is virtual.

That has taken a toll

“It’s not where we needed to be. We are running we’re operating very lean,” Hare said. “So we’re spending very little on our end but we still got to raise more because our community needs more.”

Ed Leet is a testament to that. He now uses his voice to share his story and spread awareness.

“I’m a product of this effort. You know, it made it where I had a 95 percent survival rate, and yes I was scared, and I am so happy I am where I am and I am 18 months cancer free today,” Leet said.

Ed got that good news in May of 2019, that he is now cancer free.
It is not too late to sign up for the Susan G Komen race. You can do so now by clicking here.