Gift of Life’s Toyota raffle raises $150K for men in need; prostate cancer screenings set in SETX

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, July 27, 2022

More than 100 guests recently enjoyed a fun evening at 5 Under Golf for Gift of Life’s 2022 Toyota Highlander Raffle Campaign Draw Event that benefited the organization’s Men’s Health & Prostate Cancer Program!

The Toyota Highlander was purchased at a discounted price at Philpott Motors, and the lucky winner of the vehicle was Alexis Roby of Silsbee. Winners of $1,000 and $500 gift cards, Carl Griffith and Christy Amuny, respectively, both graciously donated their prizes back to the program.

Raffle Ticket Co-Chairs Emily Patrizi Brackin and Lauren Bebeau; Underwriter Chairs Brad Klein (prostate cancer survivor), Heather Petkovsek and Tim Sudela; and Cancer Cruise-Aiders Chair Rodney Robichau, served as dedicated ambassadors for the Raffle Campaign and Gift of Life’s mission.

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“Gift of Life is so grateful for the tremendous efforts of our co-chairs and underwriters,” said Gift of Life Founder & Chair Regina Rogers. “The work we do wouldn’t be possible without the sustaining force of our compassionate community. The results of this raffle will make an immeasurable difference in the lives of men residing in our seven-county service area.”

During the program, campaign co-chairs expressed their heartfelt connection to Gift of Life’s purpose as the only local non-profit providing prostate cancer services for vulnerable Southeast Texas men.

“Our community is so fortunate to have Gift of Life,” Klein said during the festivities. “Lives are saved because of their efforts.”

Also praising the program were Gift of Life prostate cancer survivors José Hernandez and MacArthur English, who shared the lifesaving importance of the program’s provision of free screenings.

“I am alive because of Gift of Life,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t have any insurance or any money. I didn’t have any family here. I wasn’t sure what to do. But then I found Gift of Life. They took care of me and helped me get the care I needed to survive. Today, my prostate cancer is in remission.”

“Gift of Life is a wonderful program for men,” English said. “When caught early, prostate cancer can be treated and cured. Today, I am cancer free because my prostate cancer was found early enough to do something about it. Now, I encourage all men to get checked, and get involved with Gift of Life. We support each other at this organization!”

Prostate cancer survivors MacArthur English and Jose Hernandez show off their strength. (Courtesy photo)

“Thanks to the generous support of our Raffle Underwriters and Ticket Purchasers, Gift of Life raised $150,000 in gross proceeds for its lifesaving men’s health initiatives,” said Gift of Life Executive Director Norma Sampson. “Our clients will receive vital healthcare screenings, medical consultations and cancer prevention education to Southeast Texans who cannot afford health insurance or with prohibitively high deductibles.”

This year, more than 500 Gift of Life clients will access the organization’s “no-charge” healthcare in small, group screening sessions conducted throughout the year at regional sites with a comprehensive scope of services, including primary care and prostate cancer screenings, HIV and Hepatitis C tests, along with on-site physician consultations.

Clients with abnormal primary care test results are navigated to healthcare sites for medical management, and men with elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) receive case management by Gift of Life Medical Director Gwendolyn Lavalais, MD with continued follow-up care at a local urologist with all medical expenses paid by Gift of Life.

During September, National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Gift of Life will host its screenings for eligible men Sept. 10 at the Industrial Safety Training Council (ISTC) in Beaumont (8:00 am – 1:00 pm) and Sept. 17, at Baptist Hospital Orange (8:00 am – 1:00 pm).

Appointments also can be made for sites in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange in November. Register today!

Statistics demonstrate that men typically avoid seeking medical treatment – contributing to poorer health outcomes and a reduced life expectancy than their female counterparts. Many of the unique medical concerns confronting men have increased following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has intensified disparities and limited access to quality, preventative care.

Since 2000, Gift of Life has made available more than 10,700 free prostate cancer screenings and helped extend the lives of 77 men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and navigated through treatment.

For additional information or to register, please contact Gift of Life at 409.833.3663 or visit giftoflifebmt.org.