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by Athena Bogdanos   |   July 30, 2019

Prostate Cancer: A Daughter’s Point of View

Konstantine Bogdanos, or as everyone called him, “Deno”, was a family man through and through. He devoted his life to providing his daughters, Athena, Isabella, and Hera and his wife, Jeanine, with the best life possible.

“My dad loved spending time with his family, whether that be road trips to Cabelas in PA, our annual family ski trips, or taking us all shopping. Every moment of his time was spent making us happy. He worked so hard to provide a loving and beautiful home for us in New Jersey, great education for his daughters, and to make sure we didn’t need to worry about anything,” Athena Bogdanos, Deno’s oldest daughter, said.

However, days after her 21st birthday, Athena’s dad was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer. She felt the world as she knew it shatter to pieces beside her feet. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not to her dad.

“He was healthy, ate right, and had his annual physical every year. We didn’t invite cancer into our family, but it pushed its way into our lives and changed everything for us.”

All of a sudden, Athena and her family were propelled down a road they never wanted to be on. Over the course of three years, the girls’ mom, Jeanine, and their dad, Deno, “…were constantly in and out of doctor appointments at Memorial Sloan Kettering. The road ahead was hard for both my dad and our family while it challenged everything I believed – including showing me first-hand how short life can be,” Isabella Bogdanos, one of Deno’s daughters, explained.

Deno fought with bravery, patience, and fortitude. “My dad fought the cancer very aggressively with chemo and later, when his body couldn’t handle the chemo, with radiation. My dad never gave up fighting the cancer as he wanted to see his three daughters graduate and get married,” Athena said.

Although her dad wasn’t able to fulfill this dream, his presence is still felt by those who loved him and by those he loved. “When he passed away this past October I was able to see how many lives my dad touched. We met people at his wake from his past and present, all with wonderful stories of how my dad helped them through hard times,” Hera Bogdanos, Deno’s youngest daughter, remembered proudly.

“My dad was always ready to help people, he was loyal to all his friends, he was the first person most people called in time of need, his love for family was unparalleled, and the hugs he gave were one of a kind! My dad was strong, healthy, and active, but that didn’t stop prostate cancer,” Athena explained.

Watching your father endure such a ruthless battle is something no child should ever have to experience. This all too common disease needs to be stopped in its tracks once and for all.

“Our dad is the one in nine men to get prostate cancer. We need to start the conversation about prostate cancer, to bring awareness and make it common practice to get tested,” Deno’s three girls encouraged.

Prostate cancer doesn’t only affect men, it affects families, friends, and communities. Athena and her family have formed the team Hoboken Strong in honor of her Dad and will be participating in the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk – New York City.

The Bogdanos family know that one person, alone, can’t end prostate cancer. It must be a team effort, because after all, we are stronger together.

Jeanine and her daughters understand too well the loss of a loved one. They don’t want anyone else to have to experience the pain they have had to endure. That’s why Jeanine is speaking up, with advice, not just for men, but for everyone. She says, “Talk to the men in your life – husbands, dads, sons, brothers and friends, show them you care by talking about prostate cancer and encouraging them to get tested. Please take the time to donate what you can or volunteer through the ZERO to help raise awareness and find a cure to an all too common cancer.”