‘Sam has saved lives’: WKYT’s Sam Dick raises prostate cancer awareness with personal story
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - WKYT’s Sam Dick has spent his entire career telling the stories of others. However, maybe his biggest impact came from sharing his own.
“When you see sam on the news every night, he projects strength, calm,” said Sam’s wife, Noelle.
Yet, even those closest to him say they were surprised at first that he wanted to speak up about his prostate cancer.
“So, for someone like that, to come out and say, ‘I have prostate cancer’ is huge for men, I think,” Noelle said.
It was ‘personal,’ but he decided early on, he wouldn’t keep it ‘private.’
“‘We found something.’ Three words from my doctor that changed my life,” Sam said.
He shared his journey with us, from diagnosis to surgery. Through follow-up tests and, after cancer returned, radiation treatments.
“The first few times, I was pretty anxious and a little nervous about it,” Sam said. “I definitely said some prayers. But after about five or six days of the radiation, I got more comfortable, and actually, I try to take a nap.”
It was personal to Sam even before his own diagnosis. His father, David, passed away after a 17-year fight against prostate cancer. He pushed Sam to get annual exams, starting in his 40s.
“He wanted to make absolutely sure that you knew how important it was,” Sam said.
Family history is one risk factor Sam’s story helped raise awareness to.
“I think it was huge that someone of Sam’s stature talked about prostate cancer, period. To know that he was not ashamed, to know that he was not embarrassed, is huge,” Noelle said.
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But, even as calming a presence as Sam has been on the anchor desk, maybe nowhere was his voice more comforting than through the phone.
“He said we’re going to get through it, but he said we’re going to get through it together,” said cancer survivor Rusty Parsons.
Often speaking one-on-one with men like Parsons. Other men battling prostate cancer themselves.
“Sam’s response was: ‘this is my phone number. Call me,’” said Parsons. “We talked and we talked, and I cried. and he said the words that came out of his mouth was: ‘I’ve been through everything you’re going through. You are normal. There is nothing wrong with you.’”
His words, allowing them to no longer suffer in silence. He used his platform to open up a dialogue, talking about the importance of annual prostate exams and early detection.
“Don’t wait until you have symptoms,” Sam said. “See your doctor and don’t put it off.”
Sam’s decision to make it public, start this conversation, likely saved lives here in Kentucky.
“I think, without a doubt, Sam has saved lives. Without a doubt. I don’t think he’d admit to that,” Noelle said. “I’ll start getting teary. I don’t think he’d admit to that, I don’t think he’d want that accolade, but, without a doubt, his decision to go public saved lives. Saved his.”
Honoring his late father’s legacy. Now, with his own, one that will last, long after he leaves the studio.
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