NFL Hall of Famer Mike Haynes Receives Gilda Radner Courage Award

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Retired football star honored for prostate cancer advocacy

BUFFALO, NY - Michael Haynes, an NFL Hall of Fame defensive back and prostate cancer survivor, received the Gilda Radner Courage Award tonight at Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s 19th annual All Star Night gala, presented by HSBC. Haynes was honored for his efforts to use his own experience with prostate cancer as a platform to encourage and educate other men on the importance of screening and early detection.

More than 400 guests attended the sold-out white-tie affair at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Over $345,000 was raised from the event to support innovative new cancer research and the Western New York Robotic Surgical Center at Roswell Park, America’s first cancer center and upstate New York’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Haynes joins a prestigious list of past awardees, including Sam Donaldson, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Robin Roberts, Ted Kennedy, Jr., Marcia Wallace, and the late Robert Urich.

During his career with the New England Patriots and later the Los Angeles Raiders, Haynes was selected for nine Pro Bowls before being inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997. Thanks to a partnership between the NFL and the American Urological Association Foundation (AUA Foundation), Haynes was screened for prostate cancer as part of a prevention program aimed at retired players in 2008. The screening led to a prostate cancer diagnosis that likely saved his life.

Since his diagnosis and treatment, Haynes has joined with the AUA Foundation and recruited other past and current players to be part of “Team Haynes” in an educational campaign called Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer. The Know Your Stats website is a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in learning about the disease.  

Two additional awards were presented at All Star Night to recognize individuals who have played significant roles in the advancement of cancer research and care at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. James Marshall, PhD, Senior Vice President for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, was the recipient of the Thomas B. Tomasi, MD, PhD Achievement Award. Since assuming the role in 2002, Dr. Marshall has overseen significant expansion of the cancer prevention program, including recruiting renowned researchers, forging new interdisciplinary collaborations, and establishing critical new research programs. Dr. Marshall’s research into the relationship between diet and cancer was recently granted a $2.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

The Katherine Anne Gioia Inspiration Award honored William McLaughlin, recognizing more than a decade of his volunteer work and patient advocacy efforts. McLaughlin, who battled prostate cancer for more than 14 years, turned his fight into an opportunity to support and educate his fellow patients. McLaughlin served as member and manager of five Western New York chapters of the US Too national support group. In the summer of 2009, while facing his late-stage cancer progression, he participated in what he dubbed his final Ride For Roswell cycling event, raising more than $16,000 for cancer research and patient care programs.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI's website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

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Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org