The word colonoscopy makes many people cringe, but getting that checkup can make the difference between life or death. In this story, we follow Tallahassee Mayor John Marks to the hospital for his exam
Rubbing his eyes, it's seven in the morning, Tallahassee Mayor John Marks is tired, but like everything else on his agenda, this must get done. He's ready for his colonoscopy.
Mayor Marks says, "It's nothing I really want to do, but it's something I feel is necessary to do, and it's really not that difficult at all."
His father, John Marks, Jr., died of colon cancer at the age of 55. The mayor, now 57, is taking no chances.
"My dad unfortunately didn't take care of himself, didn't have the kind of checkups he should have had during that period of time."
The man behind the mask, Dr. James Stockwell, explains the importance of early detection.
"The idea coming earlier is to get growths, small pulps which could turn into cancer and find the cancer early, and it's been proven if you do the colonoscopy, the survive rate was markedly improved, and if colon cancer is caught early, it's basically curable in most instances."
Mayor Marks says he'll keep getting his checkup because he's here for the long haul.
“I want to be around for a long time, a lot longer than my father," he says.
He was smiling on his way to the exam room, but he made sure to stop our cameras at the door.
"You all are not coming in here!" he said.