Photo Credit: Prostate cancer survivor, Jim Higley (right) and his son, Kevin. The family wisdom goes both ways.
iVoice Jim Higley kicks off our month-long campaign to support Movember, the global charity movement engaging men to grow and women to support moustaches for the month of November for the purpose of raising awareness and funds to benefit men’s health with a focus on prostate and testicular cancer. Support Jim’s campaign as a prostate cancer survivor here!
I admit it. I’m a sucker for a good theme.
Invite me to your next theme party, and I promise to not only come with the appropriate costume, but I’ll have done some impressive online research and share a contagious enthusiasm with your other guests.
Themes are fun. And they can also deliver a concise, targeted message. Good themes strike home.
Kind of like Movember’s theme for their 2012 campaign: Movember and Sons. I liked it the moment I first heard it a few months ago when Adam Garone, co-founder of Movember, gave me a sneak peek.
I’m one of the 250,000 men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer in our country each year. My diagnosis came at the age of 44. I was a young dad with three kids cruising along life. My biggest worry was balancing my job with a never-ending list of kid and volunteer activities. Somehow, things always worked out.
Worked out, that is, until I received a call from my doctor one Sunday afternoon telling me that I had prostate cancer. And life since then has never been the same.
That was seven years ago.
Seven years of learning. Not just about cancer. But about myself. About being a man. About my family. And, perhaps most important to me, about being a father. And that’s why I pause when I see the words Movember and Sons.
Movember and Sons.
My own cancer journey, in many ways, is all about my two sons. And my daughter. Without them, I’m quite certain I wouldn’t have had the desire or internal strength to kick this disease. And get to the other side.
But here’s the funny part of that journey. You see, I originally thought I needed to get to the other side of this mess because my children needed me. The reality—through surgery, recovery, follow-ups, emotional meltdowns, false alarms and an assortment of other blips on our family radar screen—is that I need them just as much.
That’s what this journey continues to teach me. We need each other. As fathers we’re supposed to pass on knowledge, aren’t we? We try to show our love and share some wisdom with our sons. Our children.
And if we are lucky, and a little wise ourselves, we learn to embrace that knowledge, love and wisdom when it comes back to us from our own sons and daughters.
For me, Movember has come to represent far more than an awareness and fund-raising campaign for men’s health. (Although over 850,00 men raising over $125 million globally in 2011 is nothing to sneeze at!)
It’s a reminder that knowledge and wisdom within a family unit—and this very human thing called caring for one another—is two-way road.
A road with rather spectacular vistas. No matter which direction you’re traveling.
So, welcome to Movember 2012, friends. I hope you’ll jump on-board!
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