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On Father's Day, Sunday, June 18, it will be the third year I have particpated in the ZERO Prostate Cancer DC Run/Walk in honor of one of my best friends, my hero, and the strongest and most loving man I know – my dad, Denny Moore.
My dad, a Vietnam Vet, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1996 at the age of 47; a huge shock for him, my mother and myself. This year will mark 21 years that my dad has been battling prostate cancer in some form or another. In the Fall of 2015, Dad’s cancer returned for the fifth time and it was the worst recurrence of all. The cancer had metastasized to the bone, he suffered tremendous pain and endured chemotherapy for about a year. As a result of chemo, he was overcome with chronic fatigue, exhaustion, almost debilitating neuropathy paired with extreme frustration in addition to the typical chemo side effects of hair loss, taste bud loss, and chemo brain. The new normal was not fun or fair. By the grace of God, on June 1, 2016 (Dad's birthday), chemo had helped lower his PSA to a 1.3 (after being at 101 prior) and my dad was starting to get his life back.
In January 2017, my dad's PSA started rising again but he did not have any pain. Knowing that he'll never truly be cancer free the focus is to manage his pain and enhance his quality of life. Watchful waiting occurred and by Easter weekend he was having trouble walking (as there is a tumor in his pelvic area as well as on his back and many vertebrae)and was on narcotics for pain. As the weeks went by, his pain worsened and so did his mobility - to the point where he needed the assistance of a cane, then a walker, then a wheelchair.
On June 1, Dad started chemo again but only made it halfway through treatment. For fear he was having a stroke, he was sent to the ER where a cat scan showed he had bleeding on the brain. After a transfer to a hospital with a neurology department, it was determined that Dad would need to have surgery on his skull to release the pressure and fluid of a subdural hematoma. Miraculously, he found relief almost instantly after surgery and has not even had a bit of pain since! While he is home and recovering, he still has a long journey ahead of him and will start chemo again in a few weeks. We may never know what caused the subdural hematoma but those with prostate cancer (and leukemia) are more prone to having them. Radiation and chemo could also have played a part!
I, along with my mother, will do everything in my power to keep Dad happy and continue to help him fight this wretched disease. Being team captain for “Denny’s Shotgun Riders” for two years was a true honor and the absolute least I could do to not only support my dad but bring awareness to the disease and help others fight, prevent and hopefully, put an end to, prostate cancer! As a result, I was able to connect with the fabulous Nikituk ladies and am honored to be a part of their team this year.
This fight has never been about me and my past fundraising successes. It’s about and for my dad. It’s about and for all those men who are battling prostate cancer, those men who have unfortunately lost their lives to prostate cancer, like Paul Nikituk, and about and for those men who haven’t even been diagnosed yet. Unfortunately, most of society believes that prostate cancer is an “old man’s disease” which is completely inaccurate. My dad and Paul are proof that isn't true! EVERY MAN IS AT RISK! Awareness and early detection is extremely critical!
Won’t you help me keep families together and save lives by doing our best to put an end to prostate cancer? No donation is too big or too small and you can designate your contribution in memory of a loved one, or in honor of a man now battling prostate cancer.
From the bottom of our hearts, Mom, Dad and I thank you for your support again this year.
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