What I Want for My Birthday
One of the many things I’ve learned since I got breast cancer is that it is not only a women’s disease. Men get breast cancer, too. Men die from breast cancer, too. Everyone who knows me or who reads this blog knows that I am very concerned about the scant resources allotted to research into the causes of metastatic breast cancer and its treatment. Resources allotted to male breast cancer are even less.
Most men have no idea that they can get breast cancer. Imagine what it must feel like for them to be diagnosed with it. Actually, you don’t need to imagine it. You can read the guest post Bill Becker was kind enough to write for me last year.
My friend Bob De Vito is in remission from breast cancer and he is now preparing for reconstructive surgery. My friend Bill Becker has metastatic breast cancer. Bill and Bob are very active in campaigning for awareness of male breast cancer. They have been photographed for the SCAR project and have even been on television to discuss it.
Through them, I made another friend, the actor-filmmaker Nick Sadler. Nick is working on a project called Times Like These, a film about male breast cancer from a very personal point of view. I’ll let Nick take the floor:
TIMES LIKE THESE is a feature length documentary film that intimately follows the inspiring lives of men from very different worlds who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
We examine the powerful brotherhood these men form and the overwhelming obstacles they and their families face in getting treatment and finding support.
Male Breast Cancer is a rare but deadly form of the disease that kills 25% of the men who are diagnosed.
The film follows the lives of these men and their loved ones through their diagnosis, treatments, and everyday lives. We witness the new relationships they form with their doctors and support groups and the strains that are placed on their marriages, families, work, and friendships.
As Bob recovers, Bill’s cancer returns. He is now diagnosed 4 A Metastatic.
This film aspires to reveal the deeper truths of how we understand life when we are faced with death.
How we reach out to others when we are struggling. How we react when we ourselves are asked rise to the occasion when we are needed.
Our hope is that we can make a difference by helping people understand the human story behind this rare and deadly disease.
In doing so, we will create more than awareness – we will inspire action. More funding for research, treatment, and support.
Today is my birthday; I’m 59 years old and counting. I am not going to get all maudlin (not at this particular moment, at any rate) other than to say that birthdays have become very special to me. I would like to make this one special in a very particular way.
First of all, please go to the Times Like These page and watch the trailer, read about the project, see David Jay’s SCAR Project photos of Bill and Bob, read the bios of the filmmakers Nick Sadler and David C. Didato.
Then, if you can, please make a donation to the project, so that filming and post-production can be completed in a timely fashion and in the best possible manner. Donations are 501(c)(3) tax deductible for people in the USA.
If you cannot donate money, you can still help. Please tell your friends and family about male breast cancer. Share this post and the Times Like These page on your social media accounts. Encourage the men you know to check themselves regularly.
If I can help raise some money for the film and increase awareness of male breast cancer, this will be a wonderful birthday and I’ll carry it with me for the rest of my life.