On Thursday, hundreds of men headed to the Cleveland Clinic's 13th Annual Minority Men's Health Fair for free health screenings and education. The event was held at the Glickman Tower lobby at the Cleveland Clinic main campus.
"We're not always able to have the insurance behind us to get things that we need done. So I think when the opportunity comes, we should take advantage of it," said Jason Moorman, of Cleveland.
The health fair included free health seminars and information on topics, including prostate cancer, kidney function, hypertension, stroke prevention, smoking cessation, health and nutrition, exercise and wellness, organ donation, sports health, reproductive health, pain management and colorectal cancer.
"Prostate cancer tends to be more aggressive in African-American males, hence the need to screen. Early detection efforts are warranted," said Dr. Charles Modlin with the Cleveland Clinic.
Experts say you don't have to have symptoms to have serious or significant disease, which is why attending the health fair is a great first step.
"The important thing is to get the preventative health screening to see what there could be," said Modlin.
Some men we spoke with are battling serious health issues.
"Blood pressure. High cholesterol. You know, all of that. Diabetes. That's my main thing. I'm sick of that," said Freddie Sherman from Bedford.
George Spears went to the health fair last year and it changed his life.
"The health fair is what changed my whole style of living. Until then I was overweight. They told me I had high cholesterol, which meant nothing to me," said Spears.
The first time Spears went to the health fair, his cholesterol was 178. One year later, it was down to 118. Spears got rid of all the salt and sugar in his house, stopped eating his favorite food, fried catfish, and lost 110 pounds.
"I was serious about this. I like living. Seems like the older I get, the more I like it. So, I will do whatever it takes to make my situation better," said Spears.
The health fair has grown over the years. Last year more than 1,100 attendees received care.