Support Group Spotlight: ZERO

When the group, ZERO, was formed, they likely had many different goals. They probably wanted to be a source of information for men and their caregivers and loved ones. They probably wanted to bring about change in government, making prostate cancer research a priority. They probably wanted to bring prostate cancer awareness to the public.

Check, check, and check.

Since 1996, ZERO has accomplished these things. By educating men and their loved ones about prostate cancer, achieving success with backing in the District of Columbia, and garnering support through fundraising and advocacy, ZERO is able to live out their mantra of “support, educate, and activate.”

Their website, zerocancer.org has a strong web presence which allows them to help educate men about what prostate cancer is, what their risk factors are, and when to get tested. As a matter of fact, ZERO “pioneered free mobile prostate cancer screenings across the nation through our Drive Against Prostate Cancer program, testing more than 130,000 at risk men and alerting them to potentially life-saving information.”

Newly-diagnosed men can find information on understanding their diagnosis. There are numerous fact sheets to download, checklists to keep men on track, and multiple ways to connect with someone at the organization that understands. ZERO also maintains a social media presence, contributes to a blog, and has several regional chapters through which men can find support.

Men who have been living with their diagnosis for longer can find aid in ZERO’s information on the types of treatment available for prostate cancer, typical side effects to expect, as well as clinical trials that might be available. There is also information on financial assistance as well.

Caregivers and loved ones are not left out, and can benefit tremendously from support as well. There is information on zerocancer.org for the caregivers on how to share in the fear and anxiety that the whole family will face, changing diets to more prostate-healthy foods, and how to face more intimate problems as a couple.

ZERO also encourages anyone to become an “advocate for change.” This starts at home with encouraging loved ones to speak with their doctors about their risk factors for prostate cancer. It expands to local and federal government; they give ways to take action to make a difference from writing or calling members of Congress to joining their Summit and directly meeting with the lawmakers that are trying to make a change. Their website touts that there are over 2,500 lawmakers on Capitol Hill in DC that are fighting for a cure. There are lots of ways to make a difference.

Lastly, ZERO outlines ways to fundraise through run/walks, sponsoring a participant or team, or through tributes like dedicating your birthday or other special day as a fundraising event for prostate cancer, or getting creative with how to give back. ZERO asserts that 94 cents on the dollar goes back to their mission and programs.

ZERO takes care of the man with prostate cancer in numerous ways; through practical help like finding a prostate cancer expert, offering support to his family and loved ones, and more globally, like fighting the fight to get more federal support to find a cure.

Their motto is simple and inspiring: “What unites us all is our steadfast commitment to eliminate the pain and suffering and create Generation ZERO – the first generation of men free from prostate cancer.”

Learn more about ZERO here.

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