Man runs around Cape Girardeau as chicken for cancer awareness
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's not every day you see a man-sized chicken cross the road. But that is what a lot of people saw in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Kevin Hand wore a chicken costume because he beat stage 4 colon cancer and is now training for the Chicago Marathon in October.
"By the grace of God and by some really talented medical help and spiritual help from my friends, I am still here," Hand said. "Everyday is a gift. I try to treat it that way, I try to share a few smiles and a few dumb jokes and molt a few feathers like today. It's getting a little warm. But I am out here doing God's work."
Hand said he fought cancer for nearly five years but has some good and bad days throughout his journey.
"I have had some tough times with the treatments. It didn't go smoothly," Hand said. "But like I said, I am still here and I am ready to cluck and run the Chicago, Chick-ago Marathon."
Hand ran in the Chicago Marathon many times before; however, this time will be a little different.
"I have run the Chick-ago Marathon 10 times and I have trained for it before but never in this feathered oven that I'm wearing right now," Hand chuckled.
Hand is planning on running the race while wearing the chicken costume. Due to regulations, the costume will be modified and not the exact one he is wearing out on the streets right now.
Still, he said it's important to wear the chicken suit to help others realize that he is not chicken when it comes to facing colon cancer head-on.
"I'm trying to engage the public and let them know that there are people are still fighting," Hand said. "In my case, it was a real battle with fear. Fear is epitomized by chickens and so here I am in a chicken suit."
He is also carrying a sign that reads, "Honk. The Cancer Chicken" with a Facebook logo on it. It's Hand's Facebook page, where he hopes people will go to to help him raise money for the American Cancer Society.
"It's one of the reasons why I am still here," Hand stated.
Hand said that he knows how hard it can be and how alone you feel while battling cancer.
"When you're in that situation and you're sequestered in that chair and you're taking that chemotherapy and you're taking that chemical and every kind of chemical man has developed to fight this disease, you feel dreadfully alone. And I want those that are getting those treatments to know that they're not alone. They have that support. They have people like me that haven't forgotten them."
As he stood on Broadway Street in Cape Girardeau, cars driving by honked their horns to let him know they support him. Hand "clucked" and "boked" back at the vehicles and thanked them for the support.
"The people that are beeping know somebody or have been touched in some way by this dreadful disease," Hand said.
He has been wearing the chicken suit for nearly five years now and said he takes time to visit others that are battling cancer to help bring a smile to their faces. He has only been running in the suit for the last five weeks as he spreads his message and trains for the marathon.
"Get checked out. Get a colonoscopy," Hand urged. "It's not painful. It's the easiest thing you can do and it may save your life and save people's lives that are around you that care about you. It's really important you get checked out."
Hand hoped his message is heard and spread.
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