Prostate Cancer Survivor Helps Lead Cancer Awareness Project

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

STAUNTON -- A Valley man is about to start his term as the Virginia State Ambassador for Prostate Cancer Awareness. Jim Schnitzhofer is not only the first in the Commonwealth, he's one of the first ever.

Schnitzhofer was there last May when the Prostate Cancer Pony Express made its way through Staunton. Robert Hess, its founder and prostate cancer survivor, recently appointed him as the first ever ambassador of the Prostate Cancer Awareness project.

"He's almost ideal because he's young. He's aggressive. He's a very interesting guy. He would be kind of our model," Hess said.

Schnitzhofer is an engineering consultant and he has broad range across the state. He's about the age when men should start to worry about getting getting their prostate checked. He said men usually don't understand more of them are diagnosed with prostate cancer than women are with breast cancer.

"Society is ok with talking about women's, you know, these types of things, men, not so much. That's why I believe we kind of need to get this out there," Schnitzhofer said.

Schnitzhofer will serve for two years and during that time, he will be in charge of leading events like the Pony Express and promoting PCAP's prostate tracker.

"In essence what the prostate tracker is, it's a free, anonymous, early warning tool. Any guy can do it. As a matter of fact, it's anonymous, for guys who don't want to do it, their wives can do it," Hess said.

The tool could help men be more responsible for their health.

"The philosophy behind that is that we want people to take ownership of their own health and not necessarily put 100 percent of the responsibility of their health on their doctor," Schnitzhofer said.

The ambassador is working on the next Prostate Cancer Pony Express, which is scheduled for the second week of August.


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