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Finding Hope and Community in the Face of Prostate Cancer

Brandy's Story
Brandy and Leo Nunes sitting on a black couch

When my husband uttered the words, "It's cancer," time seemed to stand still. Disbelief consumed me, and even now, more than a year later, I find myself questioning, "Why us?" Some days, it feels like someone else's story, not our own. Yet, this is our reality – a journey we never expected, especially before the age of 50.

In the first year following the diagnosis, we felt completely lost and alone. The weight of uncertainty was overwhelming, and we had no one to confide in. No one we knew was even close to my husband's age at diagnosis, and there were no local resources for prostate cancer patients in our Colorado Springs community. The isolation was suffocating.

Desperate for help, my husband found ZERO online and started following their advocacy work. Then, a sign of hope appeared: an invitation to join ZERO’s 2024 Summit in Washington D.C. We looked at each other and the decision to go was a no-brainer. Attending the Summit transformed our cancer experience in ways we never could have imagined.

Man in powder blue suit with blue hair next to a woman in blue skirt and top also with blue hair standing on steps outside Capitol building

At the Summit, we found what had been missing: community. We met people who had walked the same path, faced the same fears, and grappled with the same questions we had. Suddenly, we weren't alone anymore. We connected with others who truly understood our situation—something we hadn't found at home. It was life-changing.

We witnessed firsthand the challenges patients face, learned about a variety of topics from some of the best prostate cancer experts in the country, and visited Capitol Hill with over 100 other advocates to meet with local representatives about funding. But, most importantly, we bonded with fellow attendees who became our lifeline, promising unwavering support as we navigate this uncertain journey. These newfound friends are now family.

ZERO has been a blessing to us. The solidarity we experienced was transformative, and we know we will return to Summit again and again, spreading the same love and support we felt to others. It was the most amazing experience, and we are so grateful for it.

As we recognize Mental Health Month, I want to emphasize the importance of finding community and support when facing a cancer diagnosis. The feelings of isolation and loneliness can be all-consuming, but there is hope. Organizations like ZERO are working tirelessly to provide resources, advocacy, and connection for patients and their loved ones.

If you or someone you know is facing prostate cancer, know that you are not alone. Reach out, seek support, and find your community. It can make all the difference in your journey.

A couple with blue hair holding a sign that says #ZEROProstateCancer in front of a backdrop full of blue ribbons

Brandy's Story

When Brandy Nunes' husband, Leo, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, they never expected to face this journey, especially at a young age. The isolation was overwhelming, and they felt no one understood their fears and struggles. But then they found hope and community. Brandy shares how attending ZERO's Summit transformed their cancer journey.

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