"I don't know how it is to have been personally diagnosed, but I know how it is from a family standpoint, and I want to let people know that there is hope in the end and it's possible," said Bills wide receiver David Nelson.
On Tuesday, October 23rd, Nelson along with the Buffalo Bills, and Bills Alumni members Booker Edgerson and Charlie Ferguson teamed up with Roswell Park Cancer Institute to provide free prostate cancer early diagnosis screenings at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The cause is important to Nelson, as he has a personal connection to prostate cancer.
"My dad was diagnosed in 2006, and he's had a couple of stints with it," said the Bills wide receiver. "He is a patient at Roswell right now, so this is something that's near and dear to me. It's something that I've been directly affected with, and something I'm very passionate for."
Men gathered at the Paul Maguire Club for the free clinic, meeting with Roswell Park doctors for free prostate cancer screenings including prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests and digital rectal exams (DRE) to eligible men.
The purpose of the clinic was to help men understand the importance of early detection.
"I'm at the age where I have to get checked. It's a preventative, and I don't want to hear bad news when it's too late," said fan Mark Rezpecki.
David Nelson agrees that early detection is key to fighting prostate cancer.
"Without being too dramatic, it's the difference between life and death. My dad luckily found out in the early stages, and if you find out in the early stages there is a high percentage to get treated. If you find out late it's a lot harder to get rid of all the cancer, so getting tested and checked annually is something that we encourage, and something that saves lives."
Many would agree that this experience was more fun and interactive than the regular visit to the doctors, as in addition to visiting the stadium for the free screenings, fans were able to take exclusive tours of Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"It's definitely more fun," said Nelson. "A lot of times you're going to the doctors or hospital to get checked. This is a more informal thing, as fans have a chance to come to the stadium with the team they love, and be with other fans who are going through the same experience. If it saves one person's life, then it was worth it."