Planting sunflowers for thanks and hope


Thanks to science, Jay Curtis is alive today.

The 58 year-old St. Thomas resident was told he was at risk for prostate cancer in his late 50s when a routine prostate specific antigen (PSA) test indicated he could have a problem. When the levels kept rising, a biopsy revealed the presence of cancer.

But Curtis, who works in customer sales and support at Kearney Planters in Thamesville, Ont., was to determined to beat prostate cancer, which can affect one in nine men. When he got the news last November, Curtis headed to the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) where renowned cancer surgeon Dr. Patrick Luke used a robotic, minimally invasive surgery method to treat the cancer.

“It went very well,” says Curtis. “I look at life differently now, and with much gratitude. Praise be to science and all the health care people who made my case go so well.”

Earlier this spring, the RealAgriculture fan, with help from some friends, hatched an idea to thank the staff at London Health Sciences Centre and throw a bouquet to science for helping him become a cancer survivor. With land donated by Mike and Tammy Bechard, Curtis has planted a field of sunflowers to show his gratitude and offer hope for others who battle prostate cancer.

“The important message is to be tested for early detection,” says Curtis. “This cancer is not discussed much among men and I’m here to try and change that. It’s so worrying to say the least, but there is great hope and success to be had with awareness.”

Curtis is encouraging people to visit his field — located on Mapleview Line just northeast of St. Thomas — enjoy his sunflowers and take one home with them. He’s also encouraging people to donate to the LHSC’s Minimal Invasive Prostrate Cancer Therapies Fund. Cheques can be made out to the London Health Sciences Centre (please note “Jay’s Sunflowers” in the memo). Donors can also contact Eric Pierce at 519 274 2849, email: [email protected].

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Categories: News / Sunflowers / Technology

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