What's been going on in my life all came into perspective when I opened the mail yesterday and found in the Cancer Support Community (formerly The Wellness Community) newsletter a survivor profile on the front page. I looked at the photo of this survivor and immediately recognized a man I’ve known at the gym for years. We’ve only exchanged Hi’s and smiles and once in a while a local restaurant recommendation – I don’t even remember how we got into that – and that’s the extent of what I knew about him. I noticed he always wore a cap, and lately he was looking thinner, but I had no idea that he has been battling cancer since 1997 – first for a melanoma that started on his skull and metastasized to his neck, spleen, liver, and colon and a later diagnosis of prostate cancer. After years of radiation and surgical treatments, as of Thanksgiving 2010 he was pronounced cancer free. And through it all I've seen this man at the gym always with a smile on his face – a guy who looks like he has the perfect attitude needed to survive cancer or any other of life’s challenges.
In his survivor story he told how reluctant he was at first to attend the program offered by the Cancer Support Community. But I am so glad he relented and finally experienced its benefits – especially the care and concern offered by its facilitators and other participants.
I worked at The Wellness Community in Redondo Beach, CA as its first Development Director in the late 1980s and served on its Board of Directors for a couple of years. It is truly a loving and caring place. I know many people who derived a huge value from attending its programs. For more information and a location near you, please go to: http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org/corporate/facilities.php
I looked for this courageous survivor at the gym today, but he wasn’t there. I hope he’s still doing well. He now has a new special place in my heart.