Shining Down, Inc. was founded by Jennifer Lafferty and Tamara Wyman Gardner in memory and honor of Jen’s husband and Tamara’s dear friend Jim Lafferty, who lost his courageous battle with prostate cancer in 2010 at the young age of 40.
The genesis of this foundation was a promise made to Jim in his final days that they would “continue the fight” for increased awareness and research funding. It is Jennifer and Tamara’s goal to keep his mission alive in partnership with ZERO by funding research that will lead to improved diagnostic and treatment options, and someday a cure.
Jim was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in late May 2006 at the young age of 35. His diagnosis followed nearly five years of urinary and erectile issues which failed to lead to a prostate exam or PSA test in his earlier stages. Despite his diagnosis, and due to his extraordinary personality, Jim never “laid down” to his disease. Instead, he made his remaining years a passionate endeavor to educate men of all ages and their families about prostate cancer, treatment options, and sharing his story in every forum he could. He fought not only for himself and all affected by prostate cancer, but tirelessly for the future of his young son Gavin.
Among the nearly two thousand people who came to pay their last respects to Jim and his family were many that had never met him, but had either heard him speak on the topic and/or spent hours communicating with him in support groups and individually. His life changing impact on others was immeasurable, and by funding targeted prostate cancer research we hope to positively impact the lives of men and their families in his name.