Each September, the nation recognizes prostate cancer awareness month to help defeat the third leading cause of cancer deaths among men. An estimated 29,430 husbands, sons, brothers, fathers, and grandfathers will lose their lives to prostate cancer in 2018.

An Ohio resident has been hard at work to ensure that these proclamations are renewed annually. Linda Hoetger has spoken with local leaders to remind communities of the pain and suffering of prostate cancer. As a result, Mayors, Legislators, City Council Members, and Town/Village managers and County Commissioners will issue a proclamation or resolution declaring September prostate cancer awareness month.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 7, 2012 in Chicago, IL

Us TOO’s journey with Linda and Ray Hoetger stated back in the fall of 2009. Linda called the Us TOO home office after first hearing about Ray’s diagnosis of prostate cancer. Many of you in the room know the feeling’s that Linda was experiencing. She did not know what to do or where to turn. She searched the internet and found the Us TOO Support Group in Lancaster Ohio. They attended their first meeting in August of 2009. “What really attracted me to the group was that wives and partners were invited, shares Linda. That night I felt like I was not alone. Others knew how I was feeling. Being part of Us TOO has been a blessing in our journey with prostate cancer. Being involved with the group and with others who understood what Ray and I were going through has been life- changing!”
After Ray had his surgery Linda found that using a favorite hobby she already had helped her through some of the most stressful times of Ray’s journey with prostate cancer.“I started making scrapbooks many years ago as a creative hobby and have found it is my stress relief. When we found out that Ray had prostate cancer I wanted a way to share what has been happening to us in a personal way.

Linda with her very creative imagination came up with a little character named PSA Petey the Prostate She  found out that the prostate is the size of a walnut, so she created Petey and started giving him some personality! Through Petey and his journeys, she came up with a way to promote awareness about prostate cancer and the importance of PSA levels for men. It was also a way to help deal with her own stress that came along with having a partner with prostate cancer.

Linda also started a Facebook page called “Prostate Cancer Survivors Caregivers and Friend’s United”.  The page provides a place where companions and family members  can find information that will help them through their journey with prostate cancer through the eyes of a caregiver.  They can find comfort, share stories, get educated, and most of all knowing that they are not alone. Linda keeps the page updated frequently sharing all the latest news on prostate cancer.

Bill Stevens, leader of the Us TOO Lancaster Ohio Chapter, along with all of their membership, unanimously supported the nomination of Linda for the Kaps Award.  “Linda has been extremely dedicated and active in support of prostate cancer awareness, both locally with our group, and nationally with Us TOO and Zero, shares Bill. She has attended several conferences, health fairs, and organized her first fundraising event called “Pasta for Prostates” this year. Linda is a multi-talented woman with a driving passion to fight the prostate cancer that has so affected their lives.

Linda has accomplished all these things while challenged by her own medical ailments. Her actions not only reflect a very kind and charitable heart, but also prominently emphasize that prostate cancer is a couple’s disease and the need for women to be proactive.   Sometime this evening be sure to ask Linda to share her story about her “Spill on Capitol Hill!"

Doreen Fast, one of the members of the Us TOO Lancaster support, shares that she and her husband Richard in the strongest and most loving way, support Linda for the Edward C. Kaps Hope Award. “Linda is and has been a beacon of hope for me and my family at a time of our darkest fears and time of need, shares Doreen. As with so many, the day you receive the news you have cancer is a time when we have a need for hope and friends who can hold your hand and guide your steps through many uncertain times. Linda has been a very important beacon of hope. A beacon does not use many words,  but it shines a light so bright a lost ship can find its way home. Linda has been so supportive with her acts of kindness, love and generosity. Linda expresses her hope for all of us through her love and actions. I am one of the lost ships in the night that Linda's beacon of Hope has guided home. 

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