Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jim Otto

Oakland Raiders Center Speaks Out for Prostate Cancer Prevention

Legendary Oakland Raiders center, Jim Otto, was at Hartnell College on Wednesday, September 29, to speak about the importance of prostate cancer awareness and prevention. Otto's had a 15-year professional football career. When he emerged after graduating from the University of Miami, he was considered by some to be too small for the offensive line. Otto was selected by the upstart Oakland Raiders in 1960 where he was a teammate of Hartnell's Tony Teresa. Otto went on as the anchor of the offensive line, and was selected as the all-league center for the American Football League every year of the leagues 10-year existence. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980. One of his greatest challenges came when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002. Otto has since turned to giving awareness about the disease as a celebrity spokesperson for Blue September. Blue September is an organization dedicated to raising awareness of prostate cancer and the importance of screening.

Many student club tables were set up for the event because of Hartnell College’s Panther Days which celebrate the student clubs. A pre med student, Mike Boyer, was working at one of the tables and commented on the event, “I think it’s a great way to fundraise for our groups. Everything today is going great and it’s awesome that we have Jim Otto out here to shed light on prostate awareness.” Many people stood and cheered as Jim Otto started speaking in the school’s main quad. “ I am a survivor of prostate cancer and it wasn’t any fun. It wouldn’t be any fun for your fathers, uncles, or grandfathers either so persuade them to go to the lab and get checked for cancer,” said Otto. After a short speech from Otto, Hartnell’s president, Dr. Phoebe Knight Helm, gave a short speech, “Nothing works like early detection. My brothers both have prostate cancer so please talk to your dads and uncles and make sure they get an exam. Thank you to all the students for supporting this event.” Otto remained on campus all day selling his biography and signing autographs to raise money for prostate cancer. The event continued on Thursday as well to help raise even more money for the school clubs and prostate cancer prevention.

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