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by Jamie Bearse   |   April 28, 2020

The Crisis that Strengthened our Community

I know the impacts of COVID-19 first hand. Diagnosed last month, I had to spend two weeks away from everyone – my wife, my kids, everyone. It could have been worse, I can’t imagine a prostate cancer and coping with a coronavirus diagnosis or risking getting the virus while seeking treatment.

It’s incredible to see that the prostate cancer community is facing this challenge together.

My ZERO colleagues and I are committed to ending prostate cancer, today and always. As one patient I spoke to put it, staying inside and isolating isn’t about counting the days. Instead, it’s about making the days count. How are you going to continue to fight, advocate, and make a difference from inside your house? This simple turn of phrase reminded me why we at ZERO spend our days fighting this awful disease, and that every day is an opportunity to forge ahead in this effort.

I’m struck by the stories I’ve heard from the many patients, caregivers, survivors, and advocates about the impact of COVID-19 on all facets of life. I’m amazed at the resilience, creativity, and perseverance that is propelling the prostate cancer community through this tough moment. Despite the overwhelming anxiety that’s permeating everyday life, our friends have taken heart-touching action by making masks for healthcare workers and patients and hosting neighborhood concerts with plenty of social distancing.   

May 5 is Giving Tuesday Now. This first-of-its-kind, one-day celebration will highlight the important work of nonprofits for a global day of giving. Nonprofits like ZERO need your help more than ever in order to serve their communities during a time of crisis. And donations made to ZERO on this special day will be DOUBLED! No donation is too small and every dollar counts! Every dollar invested means even more patients and families will be given the gift of hope when they need it most, and that the fight against prostate cancer can be continued. 

The prostate cancer community faces many challenges right now. Medical offices are short-staffed and have stopped some treatments, clinical trials have been paused, and support groups have to meet remotely. ZERO is ready and able to answer these and other challenges. Today, the work of ZERO is more important than ever in its role in improving the lives and well-being of patients and families.

Many in the prostate cancer community risk their lives daily – patients who seek treatment, caregivers taking patients to appointments, and medical workers who provide care. We face an unprecedented level of need for resources for the survival and wellbeing of our community. You can help ZERO provide these necessary resources and support programs by making a donation to our COVID-19 Support Fund. Donations received on May 5 will be DOUBLED! This means you can have twice the life-saving impact for the patients and caregivers who need your help most.

Despite the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on immunocompromised individuals, people of color, and health and service workers, a sense of determination and optimism is abundant. You know that together, we can get through this. And because of you, I know that too.

Whether we realized it or not, ZERO was made for this moment. Our various patient support programs – the bedrock of ZERO’s foundation – are essential and crucial resources for patients during this crisis. Here’s a quick look at what some of our patient programs have to offer:

ZERO360 Comprehensive Patient Support: Get FREE live assistance from experienced case managers, ready to help patients and families through their prostate cancer journeys, by visiting our website or calling (844) 244-1309.

ZERO Connect: Join our online Facebook group to get support from a community of patients and caregivers who have been impacted by prostate cancer.

ZERO MENtor: If you are a patient who is looking for one-on-one peer support, visit zerocancer.org/mentor to get matched with an individual MENtor who can provide personal guidance and counsel.

Caregiver Connector: ZERO’s newest program, Caregiver Connector, is here to help caregivers in this time of increased isolation. Caregiver Mentors can offer their experiences and insights to help caregivers care for themselves and their loved ones.

Additionally, ZERO is hard at work to keep our community safe. We’re engaged with the following efforts:

  • We encourage the prostate cancer community to practice social distancing, maintain proper handwashing hygiene, and wear masks when in public to avoid the possible spread of or catching of the virus.  
  • We’re sharing new resources online that provide answers to commonly asked questions regarding cancer and COVID-19.  
  • We are advocating for patients by working with other advocacy groups to argue for policies that will keep patients and families safe.
  • We are actively engaging in conversations with our community about how this time is challenging. From live broadcasts on Facebook to webinars, we’re increasing two-way communication to make sure you are heard and supported.

With your help, ZERO can still fulfill our mission of ending prostate cancer, even in a time of pandemic. With your help, we can lead the way toward a prosperous and resilient future for patients and families. We’ll get through this difficult time together by staying vigilant, committing to healing, and helping one another.

I invite you to join me this Giving Tuesday Now (May 5) for a special live video broadcast at on Facebook to discuss ZERO’s work during COVID-19, and how we can all help one another at this time. I encourage you to visit our web page for COVID-19 updates with links to digital resources that will help you stay connected and informed. And don’t forget to donate to ZERO’s COVID-19 Support Fund on May 5. Your gift will be doubled and will support patients in need.