About Ken Burk
Ken Burk, entrepreneur and golf enthusiast, added prostate cancer survivor to his list of life’s accomplishments at age 62. As the Founder of Cold Stone Creamery and CEO of SET Scramble, a revolutionary golf phenomenon, Burk uses his business expertise to fundraise for the Prostate Cancer Foundation and raise awareness of the disease.
Burk, diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2007, scheduled annual physicals and PSA tests for four consecutive years before his urologist felt a lump on his prostate. Half of Ken’s prostate had cancer and he was presented with three treatment options: radiation therapy, laparoscopic surgery or a radical extraction surgery.
“When you’re growing up, you feel immortal,” said Burk. “As you start to age you become more of a realist. The fact that you’re diagnosed with cancer makes you understand that life provides obstacles, and you have to overcome them. You have to deal with what you’re dealt, and the answer is never something you will want to face.”
After his decision for radical extraction surgery, pathology tests showed Burk’s Gleason score was 10 (cancers with lower Gleason scores, 2 to 4, tend to be less aggressive, while cancers with high Gleason scores, 7 to 10, tend to be more aggressive). Burk’s treatment post-surgery consisted of 35 radiation treatments, every day, over the course of seven weeks.
“The radiation treatments weren’t as bad as I was expecting, I made it through with no major complications and was able to maintain a positive attitude the majority of the time.” Burk’s passion for golf remained evident during his surgery and treatment regimen. In fact, he played a full round of golf only two and a half weeks post surgery – and continued to play golf each day during his radiation treatments.
Burk utilizes the success of SET Scramble to fundraise for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The revolutionary twist on the traditional charity-style golf tournament allows for “more players, less time and no cheating.” Hoping to raise between $50,000 and $100,000 this year, funds will be presented at the 1st Annual SET Scramble National Championship to PCF. Over one thousand 4-player amateur teams will ascend upon Las Vegas from September 18-26, 2010 to participate in “Golf’s Ultimate Team Championship.” Amateur teams will play the SET Scramble format at the Jack Nicklaus designed course, Chase at Coyote, and the host will be the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino.
“I’m beating the drum and talking about the disease as much as I can – it’s amazing how many men have had prostate cancer. I have met so many survivors who I never knew were dealing with the disease and it’s alarming that 1 in 7 U.S. men will be diagnosed. Everybody is going to be touched or affected by prostate cancer at some point, so it’s imperative that we do all we can now to fight it and find a cure.”
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