DALLAS, June 15 /Hispanic PR Wire – With prostate cancer affecting a staggering one in six men and 192,000 men expected to be diagnosed this year in the United States alone, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and the Depend brand today announced a strategic partnership with ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer. From now through 2010, proceeds from the purchase of each package of Depend Underwear for Men and Depend Guards for Men will contribute to a final donation of $250,000 to ZERO*. The contribution will help to fund education for patients, free screenings for those at risk and research to discover a cure.
Coinciding with Men’s Health Awareness Week and Father’s Day, K-C has also introduced “The Depend Campaign to End Prostate Cancer,” a four-month prostate health awareness effort which begins today and will culminate in September during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign will aim to educate men and their families about the risks associated with prostate cancer and the benefits of early detection in an overall effort to enhance awareness and bring an end to the disease.
As part of the program, the Depend brand has aligned with a team of sports legends who each have a unique experience with prostate cancer. Survivors of the disease, including golf’s Jim Colbert, former baseball star and ZERO board member Ken Griffey, Sr., Pro Football Hall of Famer Len Dawson and World Boxing Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez, will join Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009 inductee Rod Woodson, who at age 44 has pledged to get screened for the disease for the first time, as campaign ambassadors. All five men will share their personal stories, interact with consumers online at Depend.com and participate in various marketing communications activities which will encourage men to be proactive about their prostate health.
“More than 3.8 million men across the United States are currently managing some form of incontinence, and the vast majority became afflicted as a result of a prostate-related issue,” said Andrew Meurer, Vice President of Kimberly-Clark North American Feminine and Adult Care. “The Depend brand has been for 25 years, and will continue to be, an important resource for men recovering from prostate health issues. We’re proud to team with ZERO and this group of sports legends to educate men on treatment and prevention options, but more importantly work to eliminate this condition outright.”
Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of male cancer-related deaths in the U.S., with an estimated 27,360 fatalities in 2008. It is also the single most diagnosed non-skin cancer among African-Americans and Hispanics. However, while prostate cancer is among the most prevalent forms of cancer, since 2005, nearly 100 percent of men diagnosed with the disease in its early stages are still alive five years later.
“As an African-American male and someone with a long history of prostate cancer in my family, I knew my likelihood of contracting the disease was significant,” Griffey, Sr. said. “Luckily, I was educated about the risks and visited my doctor every year. So when I was ultimately diagnosed with the disease in 2006, we were fortunate enough to catch it in its early stages, and it saved my life. That’s why I’m happy to team with Depend and ZERO to share my story with other men.”
Early detection remains a critical step to surviving prostate cancer, and several factors, including proper diet and exercise, can decrease a man’s probability of becoming afflicted.
“I know men can be apprehensive about talking to their doctor about their prostate health for obvious reasons,” said Dawson. “My hope is that people will hear my story, and it serves as a catalyst for men to start having those conversations because when it’s caught early, prostate cancer is not only treatable, but beatable. I’m living proof.”
Men and their families are encouraged to visit the campaign’s online presence on Depend.com and browse through the Resource Library – a comprehensive database of articles, essays and tools to help them ask the right questions and make smart decisions about their prostate health. The site will be updated throughout the campaign with valuable statistics and an array of other campaign content including video testimonials from all five of the campaign’s ambassadors.
“Our hope for future generations is that prostate cancer becomes a thing of the past,” said Skip Lockwood, Chief Executive Officer of ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer. “We commend Kimberly-Clark and the Depend brand for their commitment to helping us eradicate this disease.”
Depend products including Guards for Men and the new Depend Underwear for Men continue to serve as valued resources for those recovering from prostate health issues, helping them maintain a normal and active lifestyle.
K-C is the clear leader in the approximately $1.2 billion adult incontinence category in North America. The company’s Depend and Poise brands hold a combined market share in excess of 50 percent. For more information about Depend products or “The Depend Campaign to End Prostate Cancer,” visit http://www.depend.com.
*Depend brand is donating $250,000 to ZERO through 2010.