Mayor Richard M. Daley and legendary rhythm and blues singer Charlie Wilson today joined together to raise awareness of prostate cancer, which killed 27,000 men in the United States last year and of which Wilson is a survivor.
“One of the most important functions of city government is public health. We take very seriously our responsibility to inform, educate and empower people about health issues,” Daley said in a news conference held at Navy Pier.
The Mayor said that one in every six American men is diagnosed with the disease.
“But as disturbing as those statistics are, the prospects are even worse for African American men, who are 1.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 2.4 times more likely than others to die from the disease,” Daley said.
“That’s why I’m pleased to be joined by Charlie Wilson to raise awareness in Chicago about prostate cancer,” he said.
Wilson became a star as lead singer of the GAP Band. He has been nominated for Grammy Awards and he has had best selling singles and albums.
“Charlie has performed for our troops in Iraq. He has overcome addiction and homelessness. In short, he has achieved much in his professional and personal life,” Daley said.
After he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and learned more about it, Wilson began a partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to raise awareness about the disease for everyone, but especially in the African-American community.
“He is putting his celebrity to wonderful use by educating people about this disease and telling them that early diagnosis, information and tough decisions saved his life. That’s a message I want to deliver to all Chicagoans today, too,” Daley said.
The Mayor thanked Wilson for using his talent and fame to help fight the disease.
“It’s the responsibility of every one of us to look out for each other. And we can do that by reminding Chicago’s men to always be aware of this disease and to take it seriously,” he said.
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