Four Best Friends Fight Cancer Together

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Four African-American men, best friends since childhood, grew up in the same neighborhood in New Orleans, went to the same schools, the same church, and fought cancer at the same time.

In this open, revealing and ultimately healing testimony, Ronald P. Bazile, Sr., Ellis M. Brossett, Sr., Preston J. Edwards, Sr. and Benjamin M. Priestley share their experiences from diagnosis and testing through treatment. Ronald, a Vietnam veteran, holds a B.A. degree from Southern University in New Orleans. He lives in Baton Rouge, LA and is retired from the U. S. Postal Service. The divorced father of three sons, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Ellis earned a B.A. degree from Xavier University in New Orleans. He is a retired federal employee who worked for Housing and Urban Development in Atlanta, GA. Married with three grown children, Ellis was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma. Preston received a B.A. degree from Dillard University, and an MBA from Atlanta University. He lives in New Orleans and is CEO of IMDiversity, Inc. and Publisher of THE BLACK COLLEGIAN Magazine. He is married with two grown sons and was diagnosed with cancer of unknown primary. Benjamin, better known as Benny, holds a B.A. degree from Tougaloo College and a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan. He is married with three grown children. A retired social worker and community activist living in Portland, OR, Benny was diagnosed with lung cancer and later with metastatic lung cancer to the brain.

In what could be seen as their darkest moment the men decided to take a stand against this dreaded disease and poured their remarkable stories into “You Have Cancer” to shine a spotlight on the devastation that the illness is causing in the African-American community.The friends wrote the book, sharing their deeply personal experiences with the hope of saving lives by encouraging other African-American men to be proactive about their health and visit their doctors for regular physical check-ups and cancer screenings.

Their work on the book began in 2001 and was interrupted in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. It was finally completed in 2007r, well after the passing of Ellis Brossett, Sr., one of the original four friends. The surviving three commented, “We made a commitment to Ellis, who passed away a few years ago, that this book would be published and we fulfilled that commitment.”

Every man over 40 and every woman who cares about the men in their lives (i.e, family, friends and significant others) should read this book.

Why? Cancer is the second leading cause of death. It is time to take the Big “C” out of the closet and expose all of its mysteries. Cancer is an enemy you should know. A few facts:

  • African-American men have the highest cancer incidence and death rate.
  • While the American Cancer Society recently reported that death rates from cancer have been declining, the cancer death rate is still 38% higher for African-American men compared to white men.
  • African Americans have the shortest survival rate of any race or ethnic group.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 152,900 new cancer cases among African Americans in 2007 and 62,780 cancer deaths.

With the double whammy of awareness and action, we can beat cancer now. Everyone knows an African-American male over 40–it could be a husband, a daddy, a granddaddy, a teacher or a preacher. Urge him to go to a doctor now for a complete physical check-up. Don’t put it off. We are advocating that African-American men go to the doctor on their birthday, so they won’t forget. This will help in early detection, and cure. At this very moment, cancer is eating away at some unsuspecting African-American man, and he does not even know it. In some cases, the cancer can grow from the size of a lemon seed to the size of a lemon in one month.

This important book describes the experiences of four African-American men as they battle cancer. It could save the lives of many more.

For more information, visit: www.YouHaveCancer.com.

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