On Sunday, June 19, churches from the entire country participated in PHEN's "Father's Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer". We joined hands in prayer in an outpouring of love and support for those who have been impacted by prostate cancer, which is at epidemic levels in Black America. Statistics show that Black men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at a rate 60% higher than white men and suffer a mortality rate that is 140% higher, which is the largest racial disparity for any type pf major cancer.
I extend my sincerest appreciation to those churches and church leaders, survivors, sponsors, and friends that responded to our call to step up and rally against this disease. Together we are taking action that is desperately needed, and it is truly making a difference. Removing the silence around prostate cancer alone is a major accomplishment.
On Father's Day I had the opportunity, due to my travel schedule, to worship and speak at Bethel AME church in Roanoke, VA, where Reverend Jacqueline Hardy Harris is the pastor. I was accompanied by Presiding Elder James Beatty who is a 13 year prostate cancer survivor. At this small and intimate church I learned that there were survivors with needs, and also widows who had lost their husbands to the disease. This strengthened my resolve that we leave no church behind in our efforts to educate and help men and their families beat prostate cancer.
We will now turn our attention towards developing an action plan, to help further mobilize our church partners and survivor network members, during our ?Seventh Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit,? in Washington, DC, on September 22- 23, 2011.
Through the use of technology, which includes our monthly webcasts and PHEN online television series, we are able to reach into every church, home, and community to provide knowledge that is vital to saving lives and eliminating the African American prostate cancer crisis. Employing these and other PHEN resources will be a major focus of the action plan.
Our two-day Summit will kick-off in the U.S. Capitol Building, and then move to the Washington Convention Center, on September 23, as part of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference. I am inviting and encouraging each of our church partners to send at least one delegate to attend the Summit. Please note that the Summit is FREE to all participants, however you must register.
We have much work to do to meet our goal of eliminating the African American prostate cancer disparity. Nevertheless, I am truly excited with the progress that we are making together, and with the knowledge that working with all our partners we can save countless lives and significantly reduce suffering towards realizing our ultimate goal.
Thank you for your support and prayers,
Thomas A. Farrington,
President and Founder
(Pictured above: Thomas and Juarez Farrington at the U.S. Capitol during the 2010 African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit)