2020 was a difficult year for so many people, but between the social distancing, staying indoors, the loss of loved ones, we got to see many examples of true hope, inspiration, and unity. For the Midwest Chapter, it was no different. Through funds raised from the 2019 ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk series, several grants were given to local prostate cancer related groups to make an even bigger impact within those communities. Today, I want to share how those grants helped the men we love and those who are living with prostate cancer.
In Iowa, ZERO created the ZERO Drive program. The program provides transportation-related financial assistance to prostate cancer patients who are currently undergoing treatment, receiving follow-up care, or attending ongoing provider appointments due to a prostate cancer diagnosis. These men are eligible to apply for a $300 debit card that can be used for transportation-related expenses such as gas, public transportation, taxis, Uber, Lyft, other ride companies, and airlines. ZERO is grateful for the support of our practice partner, The Iowa Clinic, for helping make this vision become a reality. If you live in Iowa and want more information, visit our website at www.zerocancer.org/drive. If you are a company or individual who wants to help bring this program to other states, please reach out to myself, Emily Sybrant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several free prostate cancer screening events are happening throughout the year, thanks to funds raised by the run/walks and through our partnerships with local Urology practices:
- Urology Center of Iowa and Broadlawns Medical Center are hosting two events this Summer June 8 and June 22 from 5:00-7:00pm cst, at Broadlawns Medical Center, 1801 Hickman Road in Des Moines, IA. Walk-ins are welcomed, but appointments are encouraged. For more information, call UCI at 515-282-7390.
- The Minnesota Urology Foundation will resume hosting several awareness and screening events throughout the St. Paul and Minneapolis area this Fall. For dates and more information, please visit their website at www.mnurologyfoundation.org.
- We will also be having free PSA screenings available at several of our ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walks this Fall.
In Kansas City, The Prostate Network, shifted their resources from in-person to virtual through ZOOM meetings, podcasts, and social media. The Prostate Network leaders have been very instrumental in ensuring that cancer patients, especially men battling prostate cancer, could get their COVID vaccine before the general public. They’ve advocated to state legislation officials and provided men with information regarding local testing facilities that would take them.
In St. Louis, The Empowerment Network was able to purchase 25 iPads for men who otherwise had no way to access health services through telemedicine or be able to participate in The Empowerment Network’s virtual support group meetings, due to the pandemic.
In conclusion, you see that in addition to the critically needed programs that ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer offers men throughout the country, our partnerships throughout the community are having a local impact. We recently lost a close friend to the ZERO family, Caesar Blevins, to prostate cancer, and he would always say “Teamwork makes the dream work”. Whether it be that sponsorship check your company gave, a donation you made to a friend, or that Facebook fundraiser you started; YOU are making a difference in the lives of men living with prostate cancer.