Posted June 9, 2023

Brian Jones
Brian A. Jones (Photo Provided)

In October of 2015, Brian A. Jones, a pharmacy management professional by trade, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was 49 years young at the time, and the news drastically changed his outlook on life. For the three years leading up to his prostate cancer diagnosis, Brian had experienced depression that stemmed from a work-related injury. His treatment for prostate cancer, which included a radical prostatectomy that caused him to be quite ill and require two blood transfusions, worsened his depression to an all-time high.

Through the course of his treatment journey, with his wife and children by his side, Brian came to realize that the diagnosis gave him his life’s passion and mission. He realized, through all of his health issues with prostate cancer and depression, that he was still able to live another day and felt a desire to follow the footsteps of his late mother, a neighborhood activist, and give back to his community.

In March 2016, Brian reached out to the Pennsylvania Prostate Cancer Coalition (PPCC) and was encouraged by Retired Army Col. James Williams to join a PPCC support group. Because of his active involvement, he was invited a few months later to join the PPCC Board of Directors as a member. To this day, he still serves on the PPCC Board of Directors, but he has since expanded his involvement in the prostate cancer patient advocacy community through many other avenues, including as an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research Scientists-Survivor program; consultant to Myriad Genetics; advocate, mentor, ambassador, local 5K walk/run committee member, and Health Equity Taskforce member for Zero-The End of Prostate Cancer. Additionally, to continue growing and educating himself to best impact the future of the prostate cancer advocacy community, Brian is studying to earn his Community Health Worker certification from Temple University, and he consistently engages in lobbying activities to inspire action and elicit support from state and national politicians.

Brian felt that his involvement with the Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) was fortuitous. While attending a Zero-Summit conference meeting and hearing the PCRP’s call for consumer involvement in the program’s scientific review process, he decided to take the time to stop by the table to apply for the PCRP consumer reviewer position. He has since served on the PCRP Peer Review panel as a consumer reviewer for the past 3 years (fiscal years 2020-2022).

Speaking on this experience, Brian said, “I’m empowered by all of the information that I learn during each and every panel.”

Through the various roles Brian has taken on after becoming a vocal advocate for the prostate cancer patient community, his outlook on his mission is no longer bleak but instead full of optimism. He is encouraged by the passion of the prostate cancer researchers and grateful to be a witness and supportive participant of a research community.

Brian said, “The years of experience that each researcher has on the review panels speaks to their commitment to having a positive impact on the quality of life of prostate cancer patients, less painful therapies, keeping the patient in mind while doing research, and working towards a cure. I’m excited about what’s in the pipeline for prostate cancer patients. I’m thankful for each one of the scientists and team members that have dedicated their careers to serving men with prostate cancer. The future is extremely bright.”

As an avid reader, Brian truly lives by the words of Maya Angelou, one of his favorite poets, when she says, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”

The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this paper are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of Defense position, policy or decision.

Last updated Friday, June 9, 2023