“I have this thing where I can handle
a crisis. I can break it all down,” says
Manarite. She was a restaurant manager
when her 58-year-old husband, Dominic,
was diagnosed with metastatic prostate
cancer in 2000.
Manarite still recalls the day she
suggested a treatment that the doctor
hadn’t thought of. Over the course of
Dominic’s illness, Manarite kept a running
log of her husband’s medications, 23 pages
of detailed information that she revisited
hundreds of times to try to find patterns
that might provide options to ultimately
extend his life. “I did it for my son’s sake.
He was only 9 years old when my husband
was diagnosed. I wanted my son to have a
father for as long as possible,” she says.
Over the years of treatments, Dominic
continued to work as a fishing guide. He
also saw some of his dreams fulfilled:
watching his son run onto the field to play
on the high school football team and later
attending his son’s high school graduation.
Dominic died in 2013.
During the dizzying days of helping her
husband through treatment, Manarite found
comfort and support from the Prostate
Cancer Research Institute ( pcri.org), an
educational organization that works to
Jan Manarite has made a career out of listening. For more than 15 years, she has been the calm voice on the other end of the line for caregivers and patients trying to make sense of
a prostate cancer diagnosis. Manarite has always been composed
under pressure, she says, but it was her experience over 13 years of
searching for treatments for her husband that gave rise to a calling
as a patient advocate.
DURING HER HUSBAND’S TREATMENT FOR METASTATIC
PROSTATE CANCER, JAN MANARITE LEARNED WHAT
QUESTIONS TO ASK. NOW SHE SHARES WHAT SHE
LEARNED WITH OTHERS.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WGCU PUBLIC MEDIA