Retired Army veteran Barry Berglund of Greensboro, North Carolina received the news five years ago that he had stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. Sadly, cancer was nothing new to Berglund, who was 72 when he was diagnosed. He lost his mother, father, wife and brother to various forms of the disease.
“I basically lost my entire primary family to cancer with the exception of my sister who is 80 and she’s having memory issues now. If you live long enough something is going to get you but what you want to do is make that as far off in the future as you possibly can,” explained Berglund.
After Berglund’s diagnosis he underwent surgery, followed by months of chemotherapy and radiation. He also agreed to be a part of a two year clinical trial at John Hopkins where he learned about genetic ties to prostate cancer. This was especially important to Berglund because he has an adult son.
“When I got the information back on the genetic predisposition, I contacted all of my blood relatives,” says Berglund. “Knowledge is power. There’s no doubt about that.
Berglund has been part of the ZERO family since nearly the beginning of his diagnosis. He’s a generous donor of both his time and resources. Through the ZERO MENtor program, he’s offered emotional support to many men who are trying to navigate their own cancer journeys. Berglund says connecting with the prostate cancer community is one of the most rewarding parts of being a ZERO MENtor and being part of the ZERO family.
“Every morning I’ll get on my Facebook and see what the guys are saying. I find a lot of times by keeping in touch, there are people who will be on there who are having a bad day, they just got some bad news, symptoms come back or whatever it might be,” says Berglund. “You read about it and you have the opportunity to reply back and say hey I’ve been there and done that, you’ll get through this and you’re not alone.”
WATCH BARRY’S INTERVIEW FROM OUR SPECIAL COUNTDOWN TO ZERO OUT PROSTATE CANCER SPECIAL.