By Tyler Hailstork
The seventh annual Nola Bluedoo, an event to promote awareness for prostate cancer was held on the north side of Tulane University’s campus, on Sept. 17, 2022. This event closely mirrored a New Orleans-style festival as food, drinks, music, and costumes were out on display for attendees to consume and enjoy. This family-friendly event was held to help celebrate prostate survivors.
Currently, in New Orleans, this is the only fundraiser event to promote the research of prostate cancer to benefit Dr. Oliver Sartor’s Prostate Cancer research program at Tulane. Dr. Sartor graduated with a medical degree from Tulane in 1982, and known internationally for his expertise in prostate cancer. He is now serving as the assistant dean for oncology, and a Bernadine Laborde Professor of Cancer Research, Medicine, and Urology Departments at Tulane School of Medicine.
This event featured a walk/run event that started promptly at 4 p.m. People of all ages took part in a two-mile walk or run through Tulane University’s scenic Uptown campus. The race started and ended in Tulane’s academic quad.
“The race started a little wet because of the rain but remembering why you are out here is what’s important,” said Sion James, a junior Tulane University basketball athlete. “I think that despite the weather condition nothing could permit us from coming out, our primary focus should be to raise awareness for prostate cancer, that so few people talk about,” James said.
After runners completed their race, they were greeted with a live performance by Wendell Brunious, a jazz trumpeter and vocalist. While the joggers were still on their course the band warmed up some stragglers with covers by Michael Jackson, Amelia Earhawts, the Pussyfooters, and the Baby Dolls. However, the main event was the band performing a “Tribute to Allen Toussaint.” Toussaint was a musician and songwriter, was most known for his New Orleans rhythm and blues from the 1950s to the end of his days.
“Very lively, band. The band creates a sense of soul and body. Regardless of the loud music and the good times, we know we are gathered here for an important event.,” said Mark Jankovic, a senior, public health major at Tulane. “Prostate cancer is something that we don’t talk about enough or educate people on,” Jankovic said.
As people of all ages and backgrounds filled Gibson Quad, located on the north side of Tulane, vendors and educators lined the grass as they spoke to attendees. Hoping to raise money from this year’s prostate cancer event Nola Bluedoo had games and festivals for everyone to find pleasure in. Last year, Nola Bluedoo was able to raise $901,000 that went to the research and medicine for prostate cancer that will be done at Tulane University Cancer Center. Attendees were encouraged to participate in getting a “Blue Dude” sock, which is $20. Proceeds from the blue socks will go towards developing new drugs. People who did not attend the event can donate on the Nola Bluedoo website page.
Even though prostate cancer has taken the lives of many men, families who have been affected said they were still joyous in wanting to celebrate the promotion of prostate cancer research and were eager to meet other people whose loved ones have suffered the same fate. The event came to an end at 7 p.m. and will return next year for it’s eighth renewal of the event.
“My uncle was taken by prostate cancer, but I still love coming out here to celebrate and run with my friends. I think that this event is beautiful, and we do not mourn here, we only love. I can’t wait to come next year and do it again,” said Remi Turner, a Slidell resident.