ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) – It started only five years ago with two men. Now there are almost 400 members. The amazing story behind the Empowerment Network shows us how important it is to support those living with prostate cancer.
Early detection saves lives, but some men fail to get that checkup. At present, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men.
Diagnosed in 2007, Mellve Shahid Sr. was inspired to create the Empowerment Network with the late Isadore Wayne.
"In one year, we went from two survivors to over a hundred prostate cancer survivors educating them and giving them the love, needed to battle this disease,” Shahid said.
The late Steve Meyers, a talented Fox 2 News photographer, is one who benefited from the network.
Steve and Mellve met while doing a story on the network not long after its formation. Doug Schoen, Steve's son-in-law, said the network gave Steve an outlet.
“Having a group like the Empowerment Network allowed Steve to talk to other men and allowed him to take away some of the pain and take away some of his questions so that when he did spend time with the family, he could focus on the family,” Schoen said.
Steve passed before the Empowerment Network opened its educational center this year. It's a place to get information and resources typically found at health related facilities.
Over 3,000 men living in Missouri have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. To help those men and others, the Empowerment Network has joined the Zero Prostate Cancer Walk/Run this year to raise awareness and money. The run/walk is this Saturday at Creve Coeur Park.