Photo by Jeannie Frey Rhodes. Chair courtesy Denicola's Furniture & Upholstery.

Janey Nasca, prostate cancer awareness

It seemed like impossible odds. Two surgeons living on the same street both diagnosed with prostate cancer.

But that’s what happened to Janey Nasca’s husband, Dr. Joel Nasca, 59, and their neighbor and good friend Dr. Larry Ferachi, 57, in 2006.

Nasca thought the men would beat the disease.

“Prostate cancer was something that old men got, and nobody died from it in my world,” Nasca says.

But in August 2011, Dr. Nasca passed away from the disease and, just 14 months later, Dr. Ferachi also died.

“He was a trooper,” Nasca says of her husband. “He was a good guy. For being so sick, he was just a blessing to take care of. I was just very blessed.”

Today, Nasca, 59, who works as a part-time surgical nurse, seeks to find a cure for the disease. She hopes she can spare future generations of men the pain of losing a father, brother, husband or even their own lives.

Her fundraising efforts started in 2007 before her husband’s untimely death.

Nasca, her son, two daughters-in-law and a niece ran in a 10K race in Washington, D.C. and raised $5,000 for prostate cancer awareness.

Prior to her husband’s death, Nasca also became involved with One Man Shoot, a benefit sporting clays competition held to raise money for prostate cancer research and awareness in honor of Connie Mack Boykin, who was fighting the disease at the time.

Today, One Man Shoot raises about $150,000 annually.

In addition to serving on the One Man Shoot committee, Nasca also serves on the committee for the Blue Ribbon Soirée, a prostate cancer research benefit first held in 2011 in memory of her husband. Dr. Ferachi and friends Kathy and Ricky Lato put together the then wine-tasting event and raised $18,000 that year, Nasca says.

The event, now in its fifth year, raised nearly $100,000 in October.

Funds raised at One Man Shoot and the Blue Ribbon Soirée go to Dr. Oliver Sartor’s Prostate Cancer Research Fund at the Tulane Cancer Center in New Orleans. Dr. Sartor is the physician who treated Nasca’s husband and Dr. Ferachi and is on the ※cutting edge§ of prostate cancer research, Nasca says.

Nasca recruits new volunteers and committee members for both One Man Shoot and the Blue Ribbon Soirée, keeps in contact with past sponsors, and even takes men’s blood samples at the shooting competition to be later tested for the pathogens that can indicate prostate cancer.

“I couldn’t do anything that I do without the fabulous committees on both the skeet shoot and the Blue Ribbon Soirée,” Nasca says.

The Sixth Annual One Man Shoot competition and the Sixth Annual Blue Ribbon Soirée both take place next fall.

Visit and for details.

Quick Glance

How long have you been involved with prostate cancer awareness?
My husband was diagnosed in 2006 with prostate cancer, as was my next-door neighbor.
What do you hope to achieve?
A cure. That in future generations, there will be no such thing as prostate cancer. Like polio in the 1950s. Our parents worried about us getting polio, but a vaccine came and that became a thing of the past. Hopefully, one day, prostate cancer will be a thing of the past.
What do you love about the volunteer efforts that you are engaged in?
I feel like I’m carrying on my husband’s quest for a cure. But it’s not about my husband anymore. It’s about my sons and grandsons and my brothers and all the other men in our lives.

If you know someone who would make a great Woman with a Cause in 2016, let us know by emailing [email protected]!