#Pass4Prostate Challenge and Astellas’ Newfound Love for Rugby

One in seven American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, and that rate is significantly higher if you’re African American or have a family history of the disease. Two hundred and thirty thousand people will be diagnosed with it this year, and 30,000 will die.

So when former Lion Tyler Marciniak moved from the Big Apple to the Windy City to take a job in oncology at Astellas Pharma, he always hoped he’d find a way to use rugby to support advancements in prostate cancer. When Tyler convinced his leadership to first sponsor the 2014 All Blacks match and then be the presenting sponsors of the 2015 Wallabies match, the #pass4prostate challenge was born.

Astellas has partnered with USA Rugby and the Australian Rugby Union to launch #pass4prostate, a social media campaign designed to generate awareness of prostate cancer and support a donation from Astellas to four research and advocacy organizations: Prostate Cancer Foundation, Australia Prostate Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia and Prostate Cancer Canada.

From August 5 through the end of September — Prostate Cancer Awareness Month — ruggers are encouraged to take to Twitter and post a message of support, a photo with something blue or a video of themselves catching an inanimate object, mentioning why prostate cancer awareness is important to them, and then passing that object, rugby-style, symbolically to a friend or family member. Astellas will donate $5 to prostate cancer advocacy organizations for every qualifying post with the #pass4prostate hashtag posted to Twitter, up to $125,000.

Members and supporters of the Lions can tag their posts with @villagelions to be entered to win a full set of BLK jerseys for the spring season. The club with the most creative entry will win a set of match balls. USA Rugby tickets and signed memorabilia can also be won at pass4prostate.org.

Free Club Level tickets to the Sept. 5 match in Chicago are available — just reach out to Tyler.