When I started with ZERO in 2002, I was thrilled to help forge a partnership with Yankees manager Joe Torre, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and the New York Daily News to provide free prostate cancer testing across the five boroughs. Joe and Rudy’s stories that September – Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – spurred hundreds of families to make it OK to talk about prostate cancer, much like Betty Ford made it OK to talk about breast cancer in the 1970s.
At the start of the 16th Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve come so far. There are thousands of men and families just like you stepping forward to tell their stories, ready to help the next guy up and show him and his family how to get involved in the cause. Sixteen years ago, there wasn’t ONE single Run/Walk dedicated to prostate cancer. Today, there are more than 50 nationwide.
Increased awareness is vital to saving lives, but so is research. Research has brought forth new treatment options for the disease, from hormone shots and chemotherapy to a plethora of diagnostics and immunotherapy treatments that put your white blood cells to work on attacking cancer. Now there are men with Stage IV disease completing in IRONMAN competitions, there is a new a champion every day stepping forward and willing to do whatever it takes to end prostate cancer. Deaths from the disease have declined by one-third during that time.
The growth in the willingness to take action against prostate cancer is remarkable. We can’t do this alone. We need you more than to finish the job to reach ZERO prostate cancer deaths. Can we count you in this September to end prostate cancer? Together we can save lives.