A Martinez man will soon hit the road in the name of cancer research.
James McCarty, a local powerlifter, has formed a nationwide tour to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Fundraisers to help support the organization are nothing new, but the way McCarty plans to raise money is.
"What we're doing has never been done before," he said.
What McCarty has in the works is a muscle-man display of both power and endurance. He's planning a five-month tour around the nation with three-day stops in as many as 84 cities in 36 states. At each stop, the 180-pound man will parallel squat 500 pounds.
"I'll be doing it every three days, and that makes it a little more difficult," he said.
McCarty said he's topped out at 750 pounds on the parallel squat. Even though he's nearing 50, he said the cause will keep him going.
"I've had a lot of friends in my life who have died of cancer - a lot of powerlifters," he said.
McCarty didn't go as far as blaming steroids for what he said appeared to be an increase in cancer risk among powerlifters, but the evidence is there.
"It's my opinion that powerlifters are at more of a risk to get cancer," he said. "I can't verify that steroids is what caused it, but I think it is. Steroids always comes up."
That's why he and fellow powerlifter Tom Brittingham, the assistant strength coach for the Augusta Spartans, will embark on the five-month tour.
McCarty said he'll call on local American Cancer Society chapters across the country to help set up the powerlifting demonstrations.
He already has a commendation from Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and the support of several financial sponsors.
McCarty said he and Brittingham will begin the nationwide tour in late June in Myrtle Beach, S.C., before circling the country and ending in Augusta.
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