Durham Region hosts first Prostate Cancer Awareness Clinic

The Durham Community Health Center, in collaboration with The Walnut Foundation Taibu and Princess Margaret Hospital, hosted a free prostate cancer screening clinic in Durham Region, attracting a modest turnout from the community. The event aimed to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of prostate cancer, especially among Black men who are disproportionately affected by the disease.

Frances Garwe

Francis Garwe, CEO of the Durham Community Health Center, shared his personal experience with the screening process, emphasizing its simplicity and speed. “I’m thankful as a community member that we are sending the message to keep people well and healthy. You might not have a million dollars in your pocket, but if you have your health, you are much richer than anybody out there,” Garwe stated.

MP Ryan Turnbull of Whitby expressed gratitude for the initiative, highlighting the importance of early detection through his family’s experience with prostate cancer. “Early detection is key. Events like this play a vital role in raising awareness, reducing stigma, and encouraging men to take charge of their health,” Turnbull said.

Anthony Henry and Jess
Ryan Turnbull

Patrice Barnes, a local health advocate, praised The Walnut Foundation for their efforts in destigmatizing PSA testing and reaching out to the community. “We are really taking healthcare to the community. Events like these make people feel less intimidated and more empowered,” Barnes commented.

Princess Margaret Hospital’s involvement was crucial in providing screening and educational resources. Jess, a representative from the hospital, emphasized the goal of preventing the progression of cancer. “We want to catch the disease before it progresses. Certain populations are at much more risk, and the Black community is one of those groups,” she noted.

From left Simon Samuel, TWF; Anthony Henry, TWF President; Ivan Dawns, MPP Patrice Barnes, MP Ryan Turnbull, Linden King, TWF Frances Garwe, CEO, DCHC; Ken Noel, TWF, ED; and Phillip Johnson

Anthony Henry of The Walnut Foundation highlighted the foundation’s educational efforts, including the creation of short video clips designed to educate the community about the importance of regular blood tests.

The event also featured free haircuts provided by Joel Caprietta and his team from Legends Barbershop in Whitby, further encouraging community participation. “Educating men about health, especially Black men, has been overlooked. We wanted to support men’s health and especially for the Black community,” Caprietta said.

Local resident Isaac Enkoom praised the event’s community spirit and encouraged others to participate. “It’s great, I love it, and I strongly recommend anybody that’s of African, Black Canadian descent to come out and support,” Enkoom stated.

The prostate cancer awareness clinic in Durham Region demonstrated the power of community collaboration in promoting men’s health and early detection of cancer. The Walnut Foundation, along with its partners, continues to make strides in improving healthcare access and education, particularly for vulnerable populations.