When Don LaFollette – a 45-year-old Paraglider Pilot – found out that an old friend was battling breast cancer and had paragliding on the top of her bucket list, he made it his mission to teach her. On that trip to Michigan in August of 2015, he started to understand that the symptoms he’d been experiencing in the past few weeks could be something serious.
Don saw a doctor shortly thereafter and was told that he had a prostate infection. However, when the symptoms wouldn’t let up after a week, he went back to see his doctor again. This time, she shared different news: he had metastatic prostate cancer. At first Don wasn’t sure what that diagnosis meant. He wasn’t sure how serious his diagnosis was, but his doctor urged him to be treated immediately – the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and bones.
The Summit was an eye-opener and an educational experience for me. I was just sitting there, waiting to die, when I found ZERO and inquired about attending the Summit. I learned about three new drugs for late-stage disease while I was in DC, and they gave me hope.
Don was referred to ZERO through the Patient Co-Pay Assistance Program in February 2016. The program, while providing him with financial assistance for lifesaving treatments he needed, also benefitted him in a different way: it was through this program that he learned about the ZERO Prostate Cancer Summit taking place the very next week. He cleared his schedule and attended the Summit. Don not only learned more about his disease while in DC, but also spoke to fellow advocates, patients, and elected officials on Capitol Hill about his disease.