MASSENA - A hall of fame coach at Carthage High School will share his story about his battle with prostate cancer during a special presentation being offered by Massena Memorial Hospital at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Massena Elks Lodge, Bowers Street.
Kirk A. Ventiquattro, the schools lacrosse coach who was inducted into the Upstate Chapter of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the fall of 2010, will share his story about his diagnosis and battle with prostate cancer. Physician Assistant Joe Lamb will also be on hand to answer clinical questions, and there will be door prizes, as well as free pizza and wings.
Prostate cancer one of the most common cancers among men in New York state, according to MMH Senior Director of Public Relations and Planning Tina R. Corcoran.
She said its estimated that one in six men nationwide will develop prostate cancer during his life.
When you do the numbers, thats huge, Ms. Corcoran said. A non-smoking man is more likely to develop prostate cancer than develop colon, bladder, melanoma, lymphoma or kidney cancers.
Mr. Ventiquattro, 54, is among those men. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer two years ago and faced a radical prostatectomy, hormone therapy and 40 radiation treatments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York City. The five-year survival rate nationwide for his particular type of cancer is 31 percent.
It hit him like a brick wall when he found out, Ms. Corcoran said.
On Saturday, as part of the Man to Men community program, hell have an opportunity tell his story, with some of the focus on the need for early detection by at least the age of 40.
He is well-known in the north country as one of the best lacrosse coaches. He is well-known among athletes and others. He goes around and tells his story. Hes done it before in Watertown. We contacted him and asked if he would be willing to do it for this part of the north country. He was more than happy to, Ms. Corcoran said.
He has that attitude that you ought to share your story and you ought to do something about it. As he said, this was the toughest opponent hes ever faced, she said.
Free and pizza and wings will be offered as part of the presentation.
We know its hard to get guys out on a Saturday and its opening day of duck hunting. We know duck hunting is at the crack of dawn, so we scheduled it for 2 to 4 p.m., before Saturday night so they can go out with their wife or significant other. Were trying to get a little window of opportunity, she said.
Ms. Corcoran said Saturdays presentation is co-sponsored by Massena Memorial Hospital and the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund, formerly the Edward I. Moses Walk Run for Life.
For years Massena Memorial, along with other hospitals in St. Lawrence County, have been very grateful to have benefited from moneys from the Edward I. Moses Run Walk for Life, she said.
They apply for funding through a process similar to a grant proposal, and their focus this time was educating men about cancer issues, according to Ms. Corcoran.
This is a great educational program for men. Its a great message from someone who has battled cancer and survived. Its something people dont like to talk about. We want as many guys to come, young or old, father and son, she said.
To pre-register, call 769-4262.