How could something that fell into my lap bring so much joy, accomplishment, and a sense of pride? I was proud to be working as a Clinical Research Coordinator for New Jersey Urology, LLC (formerly Delaware Valley Urology). My boss, Renee Haney, was fully involved with ZERO as the Race Director of the South Jersey Run/Walk. She enthusiastically asked me to join her and ZERO to spread awareness to prostate cancer as the Volunteer Coordinator for the 2018 and 2019 Run/Walk. How could I say no after witnessing the work that she was doing within our practice and outside in the community? Renee loved working in clinical research, but it was the difference she was making with ZERO that I found so inspirational. I am forever hooked as a ZERO volunteer!
During my time as a Volunteer Coordinator for the ZERO South Jersey Run/Walk, I met not only the men battling this disease, but their families and friends, and members of the community. Everyone at the race was directly impacted by prostate cancer and were so grateful for all that ZERO was doing to make them feel that they are not alone.
While volunteering with ZERO, I felt that I was part of something much more than just helping. I felt like I was part of a family!
Everyone was so welcoming on race day that you feel like you are at a family reunion. The survivor ceremony is so touching and I felt the love all around me. Seeing survivors, family members, and the teams cross the finish line with tears of joy will forever be in my mind.
This year a job change had me no longer working at the same practice, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to continue as South Jersey’s Run/Walk volunteer coordinator once again … and my family joined me this time. My two boys enjoyed the Kid’s Dash and my husband was able to be a part of this special day as well. The fact that one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime is a sobering statistic.
My hope is that my work with ZERO will someday help improve that stat, and I feel so strongly that I’ve made a few vows:
- I will remain part of the ZERO family as we continue to get closer to generation ZERO – the first generation free from prostate cancer.
- I absolutely want my boys to be a part of Generation ZERO – that thought really resonated with me as I watched them run in the Kid’s Dash.
- I will continue to encourage men to get their PSA tested and for them to talk to their doctors about their prostate cancer risk.
- I will also continue to encourage others to volunteer for this amazing organization that has accepted me as part of their family!
- I will commit to ZERO’s mission not just during race season, but year round because cancer never stops … so I can’t.
- I will make it a point to share ZERO’s programs with men battling prostate cancer and their loved ones that support them.
I am grateful to have learned about ZERO and their mission. Now more than ever, we all need to step forward and work harder than before. During this pandemic, working together will make a stronger impact in the fight to end prostate cancer. Consider how you can volunteer with me at ZERO. I guarantee you too will feel the LOVE as a member of the ZERO family!
Please contact ZERO for more information about how you can help ZERO out prostate cancer.
Due to rising concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), ZERO has chosen to move most of our events to the fall … but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for you to volunteer at ZERO right now. We are still committed to ending prostate cancer, so if you’d like more info about how you can work with us, we’d love to hear from you.