My name is Linda Hoetger. On June 18, 2009, my life forever changed from wife to wife/caregiver. When my husband Ray and I were given the devastating news that he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Thankfully he remains in remission in 2022. Ray is a 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force with no known family history of prostate cancer. We are the parents of four sons and two grandsons. However, I was not going to sit back and do nothing! I started advocating and raising awareness for this horrible disease that no one wants to talk about. Being a creative person, I created our Mascot for prostate cancer. It is made from walnut as this is the size of normal prostate. Petey makes a great visual for others to realize that this little, tiny nut causes so much pain for the families living with prostate cancer. Petey is known on Capitol Hill as well. He has been in many offices with us advocating for prostate cancer research and funding.
In February 2012, I started advocating with ZERO The End Of Prostate Cancer, a national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer. ZERO advances research, improves the lives of men and families, and inspires action. In 2013, I started contacting Elected Officials for Proclamations and Resolutions supporting Prostate Cancer Awareness and Education Month in September. As I share my story it is my hope that others will share theirs as well. In 2018, I contacted my State Representative asking about Specialty License plates. We started working on getting the needed support from the Ohio Statehouse. August 31, 2021, Ohio became the first in the Nation to have ZERO The End Of Prostate Cancer license plates.