Virtual Cancer Talks Teaches Women How to Support Their Man

Shown is Callie and A.J. Merriweather answering questions.

By Lynn Jones-Turpin – Continuing spreading prostate health awareness in Jacksonville, The Protalks, (Prostate, Outreach, Opportunities and Options) community outreach project recently held a “Women Talk Protalks,” Facebook live session with hundreds of subscribers joining in on the conversation.

Among the participants was Mrs. Aida Jackson, who openly shared her experience with her husband’s prostate cancer diagnosis and how supporting him through the process was not an easy task,.

“My husband was afraid to tell me and after I knew, we sat down together and made sure we had the proper knowledge for the surgery and how to proceed,” she said.

Also on screen was Raquel Rivas, whose partner was an avid runner and exercise guru, and still received a positive prostate prognosis. “I found out when we were dating about his surgery.  I’m glad he was honest enough to tell me,” said Rivas.  The women were very candid about dispelling prostate cancer myths putting a damper on intimacy in their relationships, males reaching out for male-to-male support and that researching their family history also provided them the upper hand for future generation of males in their family.

Moderator and @protalks Grant Facilitator Lynn Jones-Turpin speaking with guest Mrs. Aida Jackson

Rounding out the virtual session was Mr. A.J. Merriweather, the local Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) representative. Merrriwether was very candid discussing his bout with prostate cancer and how his faith helped him move the cancerous mountain in his body. Merriweather credits his faith on getting well and seeks to educate pastors, the community and the nation on prostate cancer health, wealth and next steps. “There must be a reason I’m still here.  I’ve had to deal with other medical issues too. But I try to keep it real with black men to use their brain and become more conscious of cancer awareness and reaching out to other males for support,’ said Merriweather.

Shown l-r A.J. Merriweather, Callie Merriweather, Mrs. Aida Jackson and Raquel Rivas

The Protalks grant is a 10-month project affiliated with the University of Florida Cares2 team that seeks to address prostate cancer research and health disparities in the Black community of Duval County. Engagement includes learning to take steps to improve prostate health outcomes for males age 18 – 100. The University of Florida CaRE2 Health Equity Center partnership seeks to advance science that improves cancer health equity among Blacks and Latinos in Florida and California. The Center trains underrepresented minority students, scientists and volunteers to engage communities to provide insights for best serving the needs of diverse populations and helping to reduce the burden of cancer.

Next on the Protalks grassroots agenda for cancer education is Barbershop Talks, Saturday, April 17th at 10 a.m. inside Fine Grooming Studio Barbershop, 9400 Atlantic Blvd., and the Old Timer’s Cook Off, Saturday, April 24th, 12-5 p.m. at Lonnie Miler Park, 7689 Price Lane. To register and for more info email


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