Burns leads Walk of Courage march for prostate cancer awareness

Updated: June 16, 2007, 8:59 PM ET
Associated Press

MONTREAL -- Former NHL coach Pat Burns led marchers from the top of Mount Royal on Saturday to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

"We've been working on this a little bit to try to get some men to understand that they've got to put the machoism aside," Burns said. "Being a cancer patient myself, I know how important it is. Men are a little bit lazy when it comes to those things."

Burns' 13-year NHL coaching career was cut short during the 2003-04 playoffs when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. In 2005, the disease struck a second time, this time in his liver. The 55-year-old Montreal native had two major surgeries and chemotherapy.

"This has been the biggest challenge of my life," he said. "Walking out of that doctor's office after he had told me [about the cancer] was a real taste of reality. It was a real slap in the face."

More than 200 walkers and sports celebrities joined Burns for the Walk of Courage, which also raised funds for prostate cancer research.

"I've been through some rough times, but right now I feel good about everything," said Burns, a consultant with the New Jersey Devils.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press