Saturday, September 15, 2012

Summit To End Prostate Cancer-Washington, D.C.

Zero-The End Of  Prostate Cancer organization, once again, generously  provided me with a scholarship to attend the Summit To End Prostate Cancer in Washington, D.C.
I marvel at how in my 4th year of being chosen to represent my state, Zero continues to impress me with their informative and organized event!  
Educating our lawmakers about the disease and how it affects hundreds of thousands of men and their families every year, is so crucial in ensuring legislative bills including funding for research and education have support and get passed on House and Senate floors.

Zero Summit-Day 1
My friend and fellow advocate, Natalie and me, as we enter the morning session

The Honorable John Barrow, U.S. Representative, 12th Congressional District of Georgia, gave a fabulous speech to our delegation.  A prostate cancer survivor himself, he is a lead sponsor for H.R. 5998, the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012.  It's not a great picture, but Rep. Barrow had everyone in the room on their feet at the end of his speech!  

Throughout my years representing Minnesota at the Summit, I have created lasting friendships with people from around the country who have been impacted by prostate cancer.

Pictured with Kermit Hyde, my favorite Utah resident and prostate cancer survivor!

 Sherry Galloway-my dear friend, who I met at my first Zero Summit in D.C., back in 2008, has been an inspiration and mentor to me throughout the years.  
The two most important men in Sherry’s life were diagnosed with prostate cancer – her husband Tom, then 54 years-old and her 34 year-old son, Jeremy. Sherry is now an advocate for prostate cancer research and had the opportunity to speak before congress on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
 Jeremy, her only child, was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 34, and died at 36.  This is tragic proof that prostate cancer affects men of all ages.  She has been relentless in bringing awareness of the disease to communities and elected officials.
Sherry gives the phrase "passionate advocate" a whole new meaning, and I am so proud to know her and feel Blessed to call her "friend" and fellow advocate!

Prostate Cancer Patient Advocates and Friends Congressional Reception-
Natalie and I are pictured with Tamara Wyman and Jennifer Lafferty, founders of the Shining Down Foundation.
Jennifer's (2nd from right) husband Tom, lost his prostate cancer battle in 2010.  Tom was just 40 years young.
Jennifer and Tamara are best friends.  Natalie and I bonded with them right away, as we reminded each other so much of ourselves, and our friendship, as well as share a passion for advocacy!


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