MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
A personal story:
There are a lot of lives and families that have been touched by cancer. We should encourage and embrace current cancer research, especially Prostate Cancer prevention, treatment and awareness.
There is a closer connection than most people would imagine between NFL players and the male population, since all males are potentially at risk for contracting this dreaded disease.
The Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation, along with local businesses, community based organizations and individuals, all have a personal stake in this project.
As a prostate cancer survivor, there is not a day that goes by that at some point I do not think about how fortunate I am that I visited my doctors regularly, checking to see if I had any health issues, which also included PSA level and colon readings.
I remember being told after my treatment that I was cancer free; however, my inner-sense was that once you have cancer, there is always a chance that traces of the cancer will be lurking around somewhere in your body.
October is a special month to raise the awareness for Breast Cancer for women and is celebrated by the National Football League and the American Cancer Society throughout the 32 NFL cities and the United States.
It would be only fitting to have September (which is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month) as a special month for Prostate Cancer Awareness.
Since the NFL is played only by men, men are the ones who play the game of football, and Prostate Cancer is a male-born disease. At some point in their lives, they or people in their lives – their grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends and friends of friends - may contract prostate problems.
My greatest check with reality was when I was diagnosed with early detection of Prostate Cancer in 1996. My doctor called me into his office and told me that I may have Prostate Cancer because my PSA level was higher than it should be.
To my surprise, I was not fazed with this prognosis. It didn’t scare me. I didn’t panic. My immediate thought was to find out what I needed to do to just get rid of it. He then said that my chance of beating this terrible disease was very good, because it appeared that it was detected at an early stage.
However, we still needed to get a biopsy to validate the PSA test. He stated that a positive biopsy test would be great; but, if it came back negative, there are quite a few options that would be available to me. The biopsy came back a few days later, and it was negative. Next, I met with my urologist to discuss my condition. After about an hour-and-half, he suggested that I get a second opinion - which I did. The second opinion confirmed my doctor’s diagnosis. At that point, I started to read any and all material I could get my hands on, made phone calls and/or talked to at least 30 individuals who had also experienced this disease. These individuals range from the average Joe to professional athletes, people in the Entertainment business, businessmen, and even a priest.
I had great support from my family, friends and just good old down-to-earth Bills football fans. I researched all my treatment options and got another (third) opinion before choosing a doctor that specialized in prostate cancer.
I also asked a few doctors to recommend an anesthesiologist once I made my decision. I asked her a few questions, which she answered very well, and she assured me that she would take very good care of me.
Once I did my research, I made my decision as to what procedure would best suit my needs and would not interfere with my quality of life, my Job, or my future. The procedure was successful; and I never looked back.
Oh, lest I forget to mention, the night before my surgery, I threw a party for myself with my family and friends. We all had a great time, and the next morning at 7 a.m. there were eight to 10 people at the hospital wishing me well. That is what I consider people who really cared about me. Of course, there were a few of my friends who were employed at the hospital and coordinated most of my medical needs. This bump in the road made me refocus on my lifestyle a little. I was happy to say that I was cancer free since April 1997 and living the good life.
**My advice to all men over the age of 40 - have a prostate screening by your doctor; this screening will increases awareness and foster prevention for you and those you care most about.
The Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation, Inc. is concerned with increasing awareness and knowledge of problems that we can help resolve, and we pursue this objective by bestowing grants to charities for meaningful intentions and activities. Our society is engulfed by poverty, deprived children and innumerable people battling with diseases and disorders among other things, and the foundation aspires to help alleviate the burden of these people.
Our intention is largely focused on creating a better environment for our youth, because as they mature, they will lead us into the future.