For his daughter Hallie, the hardest part is seeing her father battle such a horrible disease. When she first learned that her father was biopsied for prostate cancer, she was scared and confused – he was healthy, walking miles each day, a non-smoker who rarely ate red meat. How could he have gotten cancer? After he was diagnosed, Randy underwent a radical prostatectomy. Hallie’s mother, Brenda, and her family became his caregivers.
After his surgery, Randy’s doctors told him and his family that the cancer was contained with “99% certainty”. They soon discovered that this was not the case. While the cancer had not yet spread to Randy’s bones, it had spread outside his prostate, and his doctor found a tumor in his stomach. A second surgery revealed this to be a GIST tumor – completely unrelated to his prostate cancer – but resulted in the removal of a large portion of his stomach.
Though this surgery was brutal, Randy did not give up. And neither did Hallie or her mother. Randy’s second surgery was only seven weeks after his prostatectomy, followed closely two months by radiation treatments. Since beginning those treatments, Randy remains on Lupron and his PSA has stayed low.
“As much as the side affects [of his treatments] suck, his cancer is thankfully under control. The last two years have been a roller coaster, but I have never been more proud of my dad.”
Though he was at first reluctant to share his story, Hallie’s father now spreads awareness however he can – he speaks to other men and donates to support prostate cancer research as often as possible. Randy also speaks to his elected officials about the need for increased research funding. Hallie and her family were introduced to ZERO through social media, and are now active participants in the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk in St. Louis. In fact, at the 2016 event, Randy – who had not even planned on running due to his treatment – ran and placed third in his age group. The spirit of the race pushed him to run for other patients and survivors to raise awareness. The family now spends time spreading prostate cancer awareness wherever possible, supporting ZERO’s mission and fight to end the disease.
“He’s a trooper. My dad is amazing, giving, kind, selfless, and most importantly he is my best friend. He’s a wonderful husband to my mom, a great father to three kids, and the best Papa to his five grandchildren.”