Black men are 76% more likely to get prostate cancer and 2.2x more likely to die from it. That is why The Walnut Foundation hosted its 9th annual walkathon to raise awareness for men’s health and especially prostate cancer. The best way to beat it is to catch it early, and the walkathon is aimed at encouraging men to get checked and stay on top of their health.
“Men don’t have to die from prostate cancer, if caught early. One of the biggest issues in the community is that we don’t talk about it. So that builds a wall of silence,” said Ken Noel President of the Walnut Foundation.
“Prostate cancer is not a men’s issue, it’s a family issue. So get checked, that’s our message.”
The BPAO President, Vice President, and staff were also in attendance and participated in the walkathon to show support and raise awareness for the issue.
This year Ivan Dawns sat as the Honorary Chair of the Walnut Foundation, leading the raise of over $10,000 individually for the the cause and over $18,000 with his team IUPAT warriors.
Dawns also serves as the Political Director for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. He wanted to raise awareness for his members, mostly men, who are impacted by this disease. Last year, four of his members died from prostate cancer. The eldest was 62 and the youngest was 45.
“I decided I wanted to do something that brought awareness to prostate cancer for my members. If you have a prostate you can get prostate cancer. One in eight men will get prostate cancer, and for Black men, it’s double at one in four.”
Both his Grandfather and his uncle passed away from prostate cancer. This along with the loss of his members fuelled him to take a leadership role in raising awareness for the issue. He looks forward to seeing the conversation reach more homes, and a decrease in stigma around getting checked.