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Philly Against Prostate Cancer

A mid-size city is yielding a super crop of groundbreaking anti-cancer research. Why is some of the most important work against prostate cancer sprouting in Philadelphia?

A Lesson in Civics

Sprinkled throughout this article are “seedbars” that give snapshots of the game-changing anti-cancer research homegrown in Philadelphia as a partial result of the dedication to community and cause by Hamlin and Rodin. These are just a few examples of the many research projects funded through this event. “Philly Against Prostate Cancer is truly a civics lesson in action,” says Dr. Jonathan Simons, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “This midsize American city is serving up heaping portions of results,” says Simons, who points out that until the collaboration between the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Philly Against Prostate Cancer, prominent anti-cancer researchers such as Dr. Carl June (seedbar #1) were not working in prostate cancer. “What Hamlin and Rodin created in Philadelphia is a terrific exemplar of what just two men can do that positively impacts the lives of millions of men while simultaneously giving back to their local community,” Simons adds, noting this exemplar can easily be transplanted to other cities in America to take root and grow.

Both Hamlin and Rodin point out that all of the money they raise is given directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation to fund local physicians and scientists in their research into a cure for this disease. (The two men cover the expenses of the event.) “People want to know that the money they give is going to a highly credible organization. The Prostate Cancer Foundation not only is fully credible, they are known for funding the best and brightest and also for building synergies in the research community and making sure that data is shared,” said Hamlin. In fact, Rodin was literally moved to tears this past year when he overheard researchers, funded through their event, moving up their scheduled collaborative meetings. “This model has the University of Pennsylvania talking to Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University talking to Temple University talking to Fox Chase Cancer Center and so on, in an ongoing anticancer roundtable,” says Rodin. And because the money raised is all invested locally, the harvest is reaped locally. Not a bad model in these challenging economic times when cities are struggling.

What it Takes to Become a Farmer

Yes a green, as in money, thumb is needed. True. Hamlin and Rodin cover the cost of throwing the annual event. But equally important for someone looking to spout their own “My City Against Prostate Cancer” event, is trustworthiness, say Hamlin and Rodin. They point out that the community must know and trust the person or persons behind the event for it to take off. Hamlin cautions other would-be farmers not to expect that their event will go from zero to 60 in one year. “Give it time, and realize there is a learning curve,” he says. Rodin, ever the extrovert and hardcharger, has one main piece of advice: “Jump in the pool and swim!”

Finding the perfect mix of sunlight, soil and water to grow an event is never an exact science, as any gardener knows. But for the Philadelphia community and for the prostate cancer community, combining the Prostate Cancer Foundation with two entrepreneurs from the City of Brotherly Love has yielded a harvest that is $2,700,000 million strong and growing.

Robert Den, MD Click on Image to Englarge

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