Baltimore man inspires hope for prostate cancer survival
Stacy M. Brown | 5/8/2015, 10 a.m.
Robert Ginyard doesn’t have a cure for cancer nor does he have a concrete solution for preventing the dreaded disease. However, the Baltimore city employee and prostate cancer survivor has been quite successful in providing a crucial tool for those who are recovering from serious illnesses, setbacks and whatever else might be a source of chagrin.
“My message is that you really shouldn’t have to face something like cancer or something catastrophic for you to go after your dreams,” said Ginyard, the creator of DiBi DiBi Nation, an awareness campaign that encourages all to live out their dreams.
DiBi DiBi stands for “Dream it. Believe it. Do it. Be it,” Ginyard said, noting that it’s a model he developed about one year after the radiation treatment he received.
He made a vow to God that he would live up to his dreams of not only being successful but helping others to achieve or at least reach out for their long held desires, he said.
“A year had passed since the radiation treatment and I couldn’t sleep because I didn’t fulfill the promise,” he said. “So, this is really about second chances and to really not take one day for granted. One of the things I try not to do is to be a motivational speaker where I’m trying to lift people up for the moment. My goal is to inspire all to reach within themselves to come up with their own stories and when they leave my speaking engagement they can draw on their own experiences and search within their own soul.”
Applying the DiBi DiBi concept to his own life, Ginyard says he has now fulfilled his pledge and has become a prostate cancer advocate, appearing before Congress and the Senate Appropriations Committee to share his story.
He has advocated for increased funding for prostate cancer research and has been featured on ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Michael Eric Dyson Show.
Ginyard also serves as a board member and spokesman for ZERO— The Project to End Prostate Cancer, a nonprofit based in Alexandria, Virginia. At Zero, officials have noted that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in African-American men, but funding for research lags considerably behind other illnesses like breast cancer.
Further, statistics reveal that black men are more than twice as likely as white men to die of prostate cancer and African-American men are 60 percent more likely than white men to be diagnosed with the disease. Nearly 100 percent of black men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis.
“When I’m talking to folks at board meetings, they get that DiBi DiBi is universal,” Ginyard said. “Whether you are in Australia, China or Mexico everybody can look up and say, ‘Hey, my dream is this or that.’ That’s what’s been so amazing about the campaign because it crosses all racial and ethnic lines because everybody has a dream.”
Ginyard’s advocacy work primarily is geared toward helping to identify new research that could lead to a cure for prostate cancer and identify treatments options to improve the quality of life for men living with the disease."
A one-time banker and director of marketing for a national trade association before launching his own tote bag business, Ginyard has also created DiBi DiBi T-shirts, which individuals can purchase and wear as part of the self-proclaimed DiBi DiBi Nation.
“I know I’ve finally found my path, [which] is to motivate and inspire others to live their lives to the fullest and inspire others along the way,” Ginyard said. “The DiBi DiBi Nation is a group of strong, driven people and I am proud my message motivates others to pursue their dreams to bring about happiness and fulfillment in their lives and to the lives of others.”
For more information about DiBi DiBi Nation or to purchase a T-shirt, visit: www.dibidibination.com.