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Donald and Nick Vann

When Nick and his family learned that his father – Donald J. Vann Jr. – had prostate cancer at only 48, they were all more scared of the disease than their father was. Despite an hour-long drive daily to receive treatment, he continued to work as normal and tried not to let the cancer take over his life. Donald knew he could beat it and tried to keep life as normal as he could.

My advice for other family members with a loved one battling prostate cancer: encourage him to continue his every day life as normal as possible. Try to be as supportive and understanding as you can, because it’s an emotional roller coaster for both of you.

Donald found ZERO while researching his disease, and Nick notes that his father is always connecting and lifting the spirits of others diagnosed with cancer. He also credits his father’s battle with prostate cancer for improving his own outlook on his life, as his positive attitude inspired him to live life to the fullest and speak out about the need for awareness of the disease.

My father is my best friend and my hero. He’s a husband, father, grandfather, and friend. I can’t imagine one day without him, and I’m proud of the way he took control to defeat his cancer. He showed prostate cancer the door and told it which road to turn on to get to the interstate. We’re only given one chance to make a difference in this world, and my father is doing that.