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by Rebecca Coudret


This is a Cardinals town.

Despite some random Cubs and Reds fans and a few die-hard transplants who support teams from the coasts, this town bleeds Cardinal red. And for most of us with at least some gray hair, "Cardinal" is synonymous with Stan Musial.

Musial will be in Evansville Aug. 28 for an appearance with two goals and lots of residual effects: He will help raise awareness of the need for prostate cancer screening, and he'll headline a benefit to raise money for Cancer Care Options, a program that provides funding for cancer treatment medications.

And the residuals? We have a chance to hear a legendary baseball player and wonderful gentleman talk about his life in baseball and his triumph over prostate cancer. A chance to shake his hand. Get his autograph. Just be in the presence of someone who is truly a role model and hero - and a 15-year prostate cancer survivor.

The "Home Run Series for Men's Health With Stan Musial" begins at 1 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel. Tickets are just $10 for a round-table discussion about prostate cancer and the importance of screening, the talk by "Stan the Man," an autograph session and a silent auction of autographed sports memorabilia.

There's also a $100 "Sponsorship” ticket that includes a ticket to the Otters' final home game Aug. 27- and a chance to see Musial throw out the first pitch, a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Marriott and a ticket to the 1 p.m. program {all the events listed above).

Tickets can be purchased at the American Cancer Society, 1510 W. Franklin St., or the Evansville Cancer Center, 700 N. Burkhardt Rd. Or you can call them at 474-6000 beginning Monday.

Cancer Care Options was begun in 1996 to "assist people who have discomfort related to cancer or its treatment," said Julia Georgesen, RN, MSN, director of clinical operations and pain and palliation consultant.

Far too often, patients with cancer who are on fixed incomes, low incomes or have no insurance will not have pain medication prescriptions filled because of the cost. Some won't go in for treatment because of the cost.

Cancer Care Options helps patients obtain needed medication and helps them "apply for Medicaid or get into drug company programs," and when it's necessary, the program takes care of paying for prescriptions, Georgesen said.

"This program makes such a difference in people's live said Robin Lawrence-Broesch, director of marketing for the Evansville Cancer Center.

"Finding out you have cancer is catastrophic enough. But to then find out you can't afford the medications you need to fight the cancer or manage the pain is devastating."

Folks, this isn't the Cancer Center's line, it's mine: The "Home Run Series" program is a chance for men to get information about a screening process that truly saves lives. With early detection, prostate cancer has a 99 percent cure rate. Ninety-nine percent!

Do you know how many thousands of Tri-State residents would be thrilled to have a 99 percent chance of surviving their cancers? People with far worse odds go through hell and back for a chance to live. But finding out early is the key. Those odds diminish I the more you wait.

And don't whine about discomfort-especially to a woman. The screening is quick, and you'll walk away (Yes! You'll be able to walk away!) knowing that early detection gives you a 99 percent chance of a cure.

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