Sagicor’s Wellness Ambassador Encourages Men to do Regular Prostate Checks

September 17, 2021

Via Our Today

After witnessing a relative’s brush with prostate cancer, Shani McGraham-Shirley, Wellness Ambassador for Sagicor Group Jamaica, has added her voice to the conversation encouraging men to get their prostates checked.

The fitness instructor took to social media recently to share her experience with prostate cancer and urged men to do their screenings regularly and consistently. She revealed that her 76-year-old father, Donald McGraham, was diagnosed with the ailment in July and has since been treated through robotics surgery and declared cancer-free.

“I am not the one who went through prostate cancer, but it feels as though I went through it. It was hard, I cried a lot, I prayed a lot,” she said in a video which has since received over 7,500 views.

Grateful for the outcome of her father’s diagnosis, McGraham-Shirley sought to bring awareness to the disease in observance of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and encouraged men to rethink their hesitancy and complete their prostate checks.

“The reason why I am sharing this is because I find that a lot of our men don’t take it seriously; they think the tests for it are invasive… but getting screened can actually save your life.”

She also advised women to encourage the men in their lives to get checked.

According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Jamaica has the highest incident rate of prostate cancer per 100,000 people, apart from sub-Saharan Africa. Noting the gravity of this statistic, Willard Brown, executive vice president, Sagicor Life, Employee Benefits Division, underscored McGraham-Shirley’s plea for men to get their prostates checked regularly.

“As men, we need to step up and get serious about preserving our wellbeing. We must consider the impact our decisions may have on our children and take the necessary steps to protect them by protecting ourselves. I am encouraging our men aged 40 and older to do what you can to lower the risk of being severely impacted by the disease,” he said, adding that the incidents of prostate cancer in our society are too high to be ignored.

In observance of prostate cancer awareness month, he shared that Sagicor Life will embark on an online awareness campaign aimed at shifting the mindset of many Jamaican men to do their screenings. The insurance company has also partnered with the health ministry to host a webinar to further drive public education about the disease and its impact on Jamaicans.

The online forum, scheduled for today (September 15), will be streamed live via the two organisations’ social media platforms and will feature stories and advice from consultant urologist Professor William Aiken, Associate Clinical Psychologist, Keisha Bowla-Hines, and a prostate cancer survivor and his wife. Targeted virtual wellness sessions will be hosted along with the health ministry to reach some 500 men employed to several private sector companies.