September is national prostate cancer awareness month, something that has special meaning to former Steelers linebacker Robin Cole.
Cole learned he had the disease in 2004 during a routine physical exam, and was one of the lucky ones who caught it early and battled it. But he knows how devastating it can be, losing his father, Obediah Cole, and an uncle to the disease. Three of his older brothers were also diagnosed with it. Cole has seen it all, and understands that early detection, getting a PSA test, is a vital and life-saving step.
"It not only saved my life, but most of the people that were diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early stage it saved their lives too," said Cole. "I was proactive. I was able to catch my cancer when it was in the early stage. I was able to jump on it early and keep everything confined to my prostate. Early detection can save their lives. There is nothing more important than that. The greatest asset we have in this world is people and the love they give to one another. Saving lives is the most important."
Cole has been on a mission to raise awareness for the disease, as well as educate and help with early detection through the Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer that he and his brothers created. Cole hosts an annual Man Up Father's Day 5K /10K Run & Walk for the foundation right outside of Heinz Field, with his hope others will be as lucky as him and catch it early and survive.
"I am definitely blessed," said Cole. "There isn't a lot of awareness out there. Hardly anybody talks about it. This is prostate cancer awareness month and nobody knows about it. There are 30,000 men dying every year, 1,900 in Pennsylvania alone, and we don't talk about. We have a long way to go. The more people know about it, the more support you are going to get and the more we can save lives."
In addition, NFL Hall of Famer Michael Haynes and The Urology Care Foundation, through the *Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer® *campaign, have teamed up with the NFL to raise awareness on prostate cancer.
Standing on the sidelines waiting is not the answer. It's important to get the facts, and you can do that by clicking on Know Your Stats.
For more information and to lend your support or donate, visit the Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer.