Male breast cancer survivor: Why I volunteer at MD Anderson

As I approach the fourth anniversary of my original male breast cancer diagnosis in March 2013, it occurs to me that the feelings which overwhelmed me at that time have not faded entirely. Instead, they serve as a constant reminder that my life has a purpose. That purpose is to share my story so that other men with breast cancer can be diagnosed while the disease is still in its earliest stages — and therefore, more treatable. That’s why I’ve committed myself to volunteering at MD Anderson and participating in several MD Anderson committees and councils that work to enrich the survivor experience. Look for opportunities to do good During my visits to MD Anderson, whether for treatment or committee meetings, I frequently observe volunteers interacting with patients and caregivers, offering support and asking how they can help. Many of these trained volunteers are survivors or caregivers themselves. It’s impossible to walk through MD Anderson and not have an opportunity to help another person. It could be in the form of a gentle word or a soft touch. And since only 17 months have passed since my second diagnosis, I may even be the one who needs it. But make no mistake: the opportunity always exists here to do good for others — you just have to be aware of your surroundings. You’re not alone Recently, I offered support to a woman whose husband has advancing Alzheimer’s. I said that I was there for her and that she was not alone. She came back rather quickly with the comment, “But I am alone.” My response, which I have uttered...