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SAVE THE PENIS PARTY!

When I found out that my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I immediately felt distant, removed and helpless. Living over 4000km attending university in Victoria, the distance seemed infinite. If the tables were turned and it was me who had cancer, my parents would not even think twice about relocated to Victoria if it was necessary. I struggled with the fact that coming home was not an option and felt terrible that I was not part of the “everyday” routine.

Fortunately, I was raised by parents who always taught me to see the opportunity in every challenge and I immediately started brainstorming ideas on how to “be there for my dad”…just not in the physical sense. Cancer truly does not discriminate and it seems to be more prevalent these days. It is amazing to see the continued support and fundraising done to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. I remember running the CIBC Run for the Cure on October 1st and marveled at the “think pink” campaign that has swept our nation. Breast cancer survivors are blessed with support, encouragement and increasing numbers of events…this caused me to think of our men and I could not confidently describe any prostate or testicular cancer events. I’m sure there are several, but it is no secret that prostate/testicular cancer is not as advertised as breast cancer.

My idea was set into motion. I wanted to host an event that supported all of the dads, uncles, brothers, and grandfathers out there and raise money for Prostate Cancer Research. Also, as a student I felt that I could target young adults and make it an exciting event. So, I hosted the 1st Annual “Save the Penis Party!” at a club in Downtown Victoria. The theme was to wear BLUE to support male cancer survivors and creating catchy shirts was encouraged. It was a night to remember…I raised over $$1700 that went to the Simcoe-Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario.

The best part about this, was that my dad had NO IDEA what I was planning and I made a surprise flight home to Ontario during my reading break where I presented him with my Save the Penis t-shirt and a cheque for $1700 in his name for Prostate Cancer. I realized, it is possible to “be there” for someone who is dealing with this disease, and that being there comes in millions of ways.

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"What makes cancer so horrific is how it continues to torment and taunt its victims long after the treatments are finished"

– The Globe and Mail

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