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by Eliot Barnhart   |   October 5, 2020

PCAM Spotlight: Dennis Stanley

It’s October, and that’s officially a wrap on Prostate Cancer Awareness Month! Even though September has come to a close, the inspiring efforts of the ZERO community will have lasting impacts. Thanks to you, not only did we meet our fundraising goal of $60,000, but we had the privilege of following your personal stories, whether it was through social media or connecting online during our Virtual Run/Walks  We could not be prouder of the strength, advocacy, and passion that was on full display this PCAM season.

ZERO would like to highlight one particular ZERO Champion who stepped up in a huge way. Dennis Stanley, Sr., a prostate cancer survivor from Sterling, Virginia, turned his business into a full-fledged fundraising campaign. As the owner and head chef of Chantel’s Bakery, Stanley’s gourmet cakes and pastries have been a staple of the local community since 1991. When stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 first began in March, Chantel’s adapted and offered a comprehensive delivery service built right into the shop’s website. The pandemic didn’t stop Stanley then, and it certainly wouldn’t stop him from making the most of PCAM 2020.

“Most men don’t want to talk about prostate cancer. They hide away from it,” he told ZERO. Throughout the month of September, Stanley held a ZERO fundraiser at Chantel’s and decorated his cakes with bright blue frosting in order to raise prostate cancer awareness. He also hung educational posters throughout his storefront, donned face masks splashed with the blue ribbon, and openly shared his prostate cancer journey with his customers.

“I have conversations with men that come in my door all the time that don’t want to talk about prostate cancer. But once I put my stuff out, it gave them a little bit of freedom so they could open up and tell me about some of the things they’ve been going through,” he added.

Stanley received his prostate cancer diagnosis one year ago. After months of uncertainty, fear, and various treatments, his cancer is now undetectable and under control. He hopes to use his platform as a local business owner not just to raise money, but to spread awareness about the life-saving resources that are out there for prostate cancer patients. 

Early detection, as well as knowing your personal risks regarding prostate cancer, are key precautions that men should take advantage of once they turn 40. If a close family relative, i.e. a father or a brother, has prostate cancer, then a man is twice as likely to get prostate cancer himself. Additionally, African-American men are 2.2 times more likely to die from the disease than white men.

“Over 33,000 men this year will die from prostate cancer. I ask myself: out of that 33,000, how many of them would still be alive if they just went and got that PSA test done?” he said.
We could not be more inspired by Dennis’s courage this month: not just to share his prostate cancer story, but to make it such an integral part of his business mission. Thank you for making this PCAM a great one! Make sure to follow Chantel’s on Instagram to stay updated on his fundraising efforts — not to mention, the incredible sweets that he whips up daily!