My Nonprofit Reviews
Michael John R.
Review for ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer, Alexandria, VA, USA
My first experience with ZERO was at a follow up support group meeting shortly after I had my prostate removed due to having found 3 areas of cancer out of the 12 taken in my biopsy. Shawn just happened to be the guest speaker that night and I was so impressed by what she was speaking about with all of the things that ZERO was involved in when it comes to fighting and ending prostate cancer. Since then I participated in my first ZERO Prostate Cancer 5k in Harrisburg and was invited to give the mission statement, what an honor that was. How encouraging seeing about 600 people participating in this great cause and getting to hear so many great stories of how others affected have learned to deal with this disease regardless of the stage they were diagnosed. I am hopeful that my personal experience can help someone else, whether in just getting educated, or help with the emotional and physical aspects of it or in whatever capacity I can. My family has a history of prostate cancer, I lost a grandfather and two great uncles to it and thankfully, my Dad was more aware of it because of that and is now a 17 year survivor. With that in my background, I was "on top" of it and began getting my PSA checked at 40. Over the next 10 years it would increase slightly each year and then in June of 2016, at 51, my wonderful urologist, ,Dr. Scott Owens, said that he thought it was time to have the biopsies done. At first I was like, wait a minute, it's doing what it's supposed to do, based on my age and history, so why the rush? He said, well, let's wait 3 more months and we'll take another PSA and decide from there. Sure enough, in Sept, it had gone up another 0.4 points and it was time. In November the biopsies were taken and at that point I was still pretty sure that we would be in a just "wait and watch" period. Well, as I started this out above, nope, 3 of them in one quadrant were grade 7. At 51 we all felt that the best option for me was to have the Robotic procedure done and get it out of there, so that's what we did on Jan 5th 2017. Thankfully, due to the diligence of my doctor, mine was caught while it was still fully contained within the prostate and as of today, 10/27/17, my last PSA level was "undetectable" and I'm cancer free. Now part of my mission in life is to share with as many men that I can to help educate them to the need for early detection and awareness and I'm hoping to do more of that through working along with Shawn and others with ZERO and my local urology group here in PA.