David was diagnosed at age 42. His prostate cancer was aggressive and had metastasized to his bones and lymph nodes. In his blog he wrote: “… I’ve got it. My instant thought – I do not want to die, this is harder than I ever expected, pray for me.”
Almost seven years later, David is fighting his cancer with vigor, participating in PCF-supported clinical trials for two new drugs: abiraterone (Zytiga) and XL184 (cabozantinib). He has also fought back by starting the Faith, Love, Hope, Win (FLHW) Foundation, raising more than $200,000 for PCF-sponsored research.
David is a survivor advancing the field of prostate cancer research both through FLHW and his participation in clinical trials.
An Interview with Mary Emerson
Co-Founder & President
Faith, Love, Hope, Win Foundation
Once diagnosed, David Emerson participated in several clinical trials, blazing new treatment paths for him and others. At the same time, he and his wife, Mary, started the Faith, Love, Hope, Win Foundation (FLHW) to raise awareness for prostate cancer and much needed funding for research. Shortly after David’s passing, Mary contacted PCF to say that the FLHW Board unanimously decided to continue operation and raise funds for PCF-sponsored research. We remain grateful to Mary and her family. David’s legacy will benefit millions of other men and their families long into the future.
Q. In the midst of treatment and keeping up with the demands of traveling to clinical trial sites, you and David decided to start Faith, Love, Hope, Win. What was the driving decision?
A. After David’s initial diagnosis, we started to research the treatment options for advanced prostate cancer. We quickly realized that our treatment options were limited. Through the research process, we discovered PCF and were so grateful that this organization existed and was leading the way to pursue more and better treatments, and of course, a cure. The PCF website was an important tool for us. It was our primary source for information, from updates on cutting-edge research to nutritional recommendations. We whole heartedly wanted to do our part to support the effort to raise awareness and support the research. When one is diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, there are many variables that are beyond one’s control. Starting our organization and being able to reach out to others battling this disease was something we could do to make a difference.
Q. Since 2005, FLHW has raised more than $250,000 to support prostate cancer research. Did you ever think your efforts would be so successful?
A. We did not have previous experience leading a fundraising effort. We have been very blessed to be supported by wonderful people who so generously support our cause. We are also amazed by the reach of our organization. We have received responses from people all over the country, as well as Australia, England, South America and Canada. Prostate cancer knows no boundaries! We are proud of the success of our small foundation.
Q. Why did the FLHW Board vote to continue operation to support the work of PCF?
A. First and foremost, to carry on David’s legacy. David was passionate about the mission of FLHW. I believe he was comforted by helping other men and their families battle this dreadful disease. I made a commitment to David that I would continue to support PCF. I am very blessed to have such an exceptional team of gentlemen who comprise our FLHW Board. They were with us every step of the way through David’s personal journey with prostate cancer and are committed to continuing the fight. The success of our foundation would not have been possible if not for the nucleus of our organization, the FLHW Board. I am so grateful to each of them for their dedication to our family and to the success of our foundation.
Q. If David were alive today, what would he tell his fellow patients and families?
A. David would first and foremost encourage those battling prostate cancer to never give up hope. When battling prostate cancer, it is an emotional roller coaster. David faced this disease, his fear and his pain with grace and tenacity. He would remind others to appreciate each and every day. Life is not measured by its length. It is measured by its depth.