Gift of Life Provides Health, Healing & Hope from Prostate Cancer

Published 10:38 am Tuesday, May 15, 2018

By: Holli Petersen

Gift of Life Public Affairs Associate


Countless hometown heroes traversed the rising tide of Hurricane Harvey. With little more than boats, trucks and a determination to serve, they put their lives at risk to save others. One such person was Jefferson County Constable Earl White. Despite needing rescue from his own flooded neighborhood, Constable White spent his days and nights assisting flood victims from across the region to the safety of higher ground.

Constable White bravely rose to the occasion, but few – if any – knew that he was also battling for his life on another front. In August, shortly before the storm, an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and subsequent biopsy revealed that White had prostate cancer. Without exhibiting any major symptoms, the cancer was solely detected after routine blood work.

While the storm is over, Constable White is still working to rescue fellow Southeast Texans – this time from the threat of prostate cancer.

“I had surgery November 29 and now look at me,” White said. “Through faith, family and friends, I survived and now I’m carrying the torch to let others know that you too can survive. I’m telling every man – young or old – to get checked because early detection is the key. Early detection saves lives.”

This year, Constable White is serving as the 2018 Gift of Life Men’s Health Month Honorary Chair. He is sharing his story with the region and serving as an ambassador of early detection to inspire other men to be “man enough to get checked.”

“I’m alive today because I was screened for prostate cancer,” White reiterated. “Although I had insurance and could afford my care, there are many who are not as fortunate. The Gift of Life is a lifeline for Southeast Texas men who cannot afford health insurance or their high deductibles.”

Studies indicate that men live five years less than women, with African American men having the lowest life expectancy. One contributing factor is that a higher percentage of men lack health insurance coverage. In the United States, men also make half as many preventative physician visits than women. Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer among American men, with about one in every nine men being diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime. Though the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer is nearly 100% when detected early, about one in every 41 American men will lose his life to the disease.

The Gift of Life Program is committed to saving the lives of medically uninsured or underinsured Southeast Texas men by providing the most effective prostate cancer detection tool – the PSA blood test – at no cost. Since 2000, more than 9,000 men have benefited from the Gift of Life’s free provision of this lifesaving prostate cancer screening, which has diagnosed 74 local men with prostate cancer. Every man diagnosed with prostate cancer through this service is provided with free diagnostic testing and treatment, as necessary, along with support services and knowledgeable case workers that guide each client through their journey of health and healing.

Recently, the Gift of Life expanded its services to include a battery of primary care tests for eligible men. In addition to the free prostate cancer screening, local men receive blood glucose panels; cholesterol and blood pressure screenings; Hepatitis C and HIV tests; critical health information and education; and individual physician consultations. Clients with adverse test results are navigated to local services that can affordably provide the care they need.

The Gift of Life is accepting registration applications now for their upcoming Men’s Health & Wellness Screenings, which will be held from Noon – 4:00 PM in Beaumont on June 2 at the Beaumont Civic Center; in Port Arthur on June 23 at the Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center; and in Orange on June 30 at the West Orange-Stark High School.

For more information or to register, please visit or call 409.833.3663.

The life you save could be your own.