Men Against Breast Cancer Invited to Young Survivors and Living Beyond Breast Cancer National Conference
Men Against Breast Cancer has been fortunate enough to be invited the past two years to present our Partners In Survival Workshop as a break out session at the Annual Young Survivors and Living Beyond Breast Cancer National Conference, this year in Jacksonville, Fl.
As the President and Cofounder of Men Against Breast Cancer, this is significant to me for several reasons.
First, it is an honor and a pleasure to be able to work with two such great organizations that never lose sight of our common goal of helping others battle and deal with breast cancer.
I say this because since I became an advocate to raise awareness of breast cancer in 1992, I would have to say the single biggest eye opener and disappointment is that not all organizations are willing to work together because of what is perceived as a competition for their "piece" of the fundraising pie or recognition. I personally find it shameful that not all organizations are willing to work together, because we could get so much more done together than working for "their" own self interests.
Secondly, the fact that Men Against Breast Cancer was invited back again this year to offer our Partners In Survival Program means that our program to educate and empower men to be effective caregivers with our proven problem solving technique called C.O.P.E was found to be an effective means to help couples navigate the crisis of breast cancer and to improve the quality survivorship of the patient. While Men Against Breast Cancer can't give anyone the answers, we can provide a solid blueprint in which couples can effectively communicate and there by improve the quality of life. To know that Men Against Breast Cancer has made a positive impact in one life is such a rewarding experience, but to have impacted many words can do no justice.
Lastly and most importantly, Men Against Breast Cancer being on the agenda at this conference the last two years shows emphatically that not only is there a need for what we do, but that men do want to help and are, when given the right tools, amazingly effective caregivers. This goes a long way towards debunking the myth that men are absent partners when their loved one is battling breast cancer. Yes, there are men out there who do not step up to the plate and do not do whatever is necessary to be there for the women they love, and society loves to focus on this small percentage of men. At the time of this post, there are over 30 courageous and loving men who have pre-registered for our Partners In Survival Workshop.
This clearly demonstrates the desire for men to learn practical tools that enable the couple to effectively problem solve the myriad issues they must face on a daily basis. We need to celebrate the men not only attending the conference, but men all over the country who I have the privilege and honor to meet with, talk with, and email with who are, have been, and continue to be loving, caring and supportive partners. These men and all men who are out there doing what needs to be done inspire me on a daily basis.
Yes, we can do more, generally speaking, we all can. Yes, we as men have more work to do to be "all we can" for our loved one facing breast cancer and to help our loved get the best out of us as well. But, let's take a moment and thank all the men out there who know the vital role they play in being there for the women they love and they play it great everyday.
It is so easy to concentrate on the negative that we forget and take for granted what is in front of us each and everyday and that is men living be the words of Martin Luther King, "Everyone can be great because everyone can serve it only takes a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love."
So, thank you to all the men out there for your hearts and souls in being there for the women you love.