Men Against Breast Cancer Conference Overview

Marc Heyison Health Guide
  • When Men Against Breast Cancer hosted the first National Male Caregivers Conference in 2006, skeptics said we would not be able to get men to attend a conference that was for men only, where the primary focus was to educate men to be there for the women they love.


    Well, as we suspected, we proved the skeptics who underestimate how great men are at caregiving wrong yet again. The conference was such an overwhelming success that when we held the Second Annual Male Caregivers Conference this past August we not only added an extra day of workshops, we filmed it as a documentary called, "A Band of Brothers."

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    This was done so people can see firsthand how amazingly loving, caring, and committed men are when the women they love are faced with the scourge called breast cancer -- and for other men to see that there are other men going through what they are and are facing similar challenges and emotional ups and downs in navigating the crisis of breast cancer -- and it is OK not to have all the answers and it is OK to be scared and it is OK to cry and it is OK to be honest when facing your fears and uncertainties and that ALL things are possible when you're committed to being side by side with the women you love and facing what lies ahead of you together.


    When I watched the DVD of the "Band of Brothers" for the first time... the tears flowed because I had no idea how much Men Against Breast Cancer's Partners In Survival Program had impacted the lives of the men who attended our workshops. To know that we played some small role in helping others deal with breast cancer is a feeling I can't describe. It is why we do what we do... to help others -- and to know that you have -- is like hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth in the seventh game of the world series with a full count and two outs and the your team losing by 3 runs.


    The tears flowed also because the love and compassion these men have in the face of such uncertainty is truly heroic and an inspiration to me to do better and to do more... because if these men can face down this disease, I can keep moving forward to continue the goals and mission of Men Against Breast Cancer.


    This Band of Brothers is a microcosm of what I have been fortunate enough to see throughout the country. They along with the women they are the caregiver for are a lesson to us all on how to face breast cancer with such dignity, toughness, caring, compassion, and love.


    After watching this and having the hair on my arms stand up, I felt so privileged and blessed to be in the same room during the conference as these men who never cease to uplift me when I am feeling down and encourage me when I feel frustrated.


    They and their families should be to us all role models on how to face adversity whatever it may be and stare it straight in the face and go right at it.


    I of course have watched the DVD countless times and each time I cry the same tears-tears of joy that Men Against Breast Cancer has helped, tears of sadness that people have to endure what they do and most of all tears of hope that we can all learn from these men and women who love each other and will do whatever is necessary to be there.


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    I know this is a cliché and corny, but you know it really is true, there is goodness in everyone and if you look as hard for the good as we do the bad we all would be better off. And for this I am forever grateful for the lesson I have learned from my Band of Brothers.


    Watch the Band of Brothers video.

Published On: February 19, 2008