The Challenge of Raising Awareness

I’m an NFL fan. More specifically, I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan!!! (hello, haters) I went to the first season opener against the New York Giants (what an upset at the end!). I ran into a former Cowboy and church member who will remain nameless (mainly because I forgot to ask if I could mention him out of respect). But I took the opportunity to ask him: “What would it take to get the #NFL to raise awareness for prostate cancer?” Without hesitation, he replied: “For someone famous to die from it.” I sort of figured this out a year ago or so and mentioned it in a previous post. It’s a sad truth I assume. I find it also an either-or situation. Either you have to be famous and die from the disease, or just famous. Does it really take that? I’m neither famous (and not trying to be) nor am I dead. I’m alive by the grace of God, totally. But I’m pushing hard with posts, tweets, and hashtags to get the attention of a few athletic associations who each have a massive male audience, and an even more massive influence on them. The month of October is always filled with pink on the football field by players, coaching staff and fans in the stands. Even the artificial and natural turf of the fields are arrayed with the hue. I’m totally for raising awareness for #breastcancer with my sisters. But why should every September go by and there’s not one mention of prostate cancer awareness on the football field, baseball diamond, or any other major sport with light blue or cyan trimmed jerseys, helmets, and caps? Too many men ages 35+ watch the games religiously, and many of these same men will not get screened. Most don’t think about it. Still others do, but refuse to do anything because they don’t want the few seconds of uncomfortable experience. I’ve experience the few seconds of discomfort (digital rectal exam, along with PSA) and avoided weeks, months, and years (maybe) of utter discomfort by going through more rigorous treatment, or worse, suffering from an advanced stage as my body slowly, or rapidly, deteriorates. I had no symptoms. When that happens, now you’re talking about an advanced stage. All it took was to hear the announcement of a free screening and upon going, getting a phone call a week later informing me of a high PSA. Read the details of my story here.

But, much more needs to be said. More awareness needs to be made through the right resources, at the right times, and in an impactful manner. There are many men and organizations doing such, but I’m not sure if they are being heard. I went to my second Prostate Health Educational Symposium this year that was held at a church which includes approximately over 1,200 men in their congregation, but the symposium only attracted about 15-20 men. Very good for the few who attended, but very sad for the thousands who didn’t – not because they couldn’t, but because they chose not to.

I’m challenging you (again) #NFL #MLB #DallasCowboys #Cowboysnation #TexasRangers and any other team or sport airing in the month of September. WAKE UP and RAISE UP!!! Millions of men watch your events on big screens with their families and friends at homes and tailgate parties. Let’s start a campaign. Sorry I’m not famous, or dead. If you won’t use me, use anyone. Just do it!!! How about that #Nike or even #Adidas #Reebox #UnderArmor and so on. There are millions of men who love sports more than their health. Let’s get in their faces and help save lives. It’s game time!


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