How was New Day Foundation able to help your family?
I was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic prostate cancer earlier this year. I was astonished by what New Day was able to do for my family and me. They immediately provided Meijer gift cards for groceries and gas. And then they generously took over my mortgage payment for a bit so that we could pay some of our medical bills and keep our family on track.
How did help from NDF impact your family?
The help we received enabled us to keep our kids in swim class and pay for their preschool, which was very important to us. This diagnosis really ripped the rug out from under us, but we wanted to keep things as normal as possible for our boys and New Day was an enormous help. The support provided a great relief from the stress of the financial burden that comes along with a diagnosis like this. We just could not believe their generosity. My wife and I are so grateful.
How has cancer changed your perspective?
It’s rearranged my priorities a bit. I don’t worry about inconsequential things anymore. I’ve always been a pretty optimistic person, but I’m more positive now than ever. My whole platform now is to promote awareness and pay it forward. I played drums for the Chicago-based band, Local H, for 14 years before retiring last year to concentrate on my company, Tour Time Productions. I’m a self-employed music tour and production manager, and I’m on the road a large part of the year. My contacts in the music industry offer me a unique way to give back. I recently donated a guitar autographed by Cheap Trick for a future New Day Foundation event auction.
What advice do you have for others facing cancer?
Stay positive! Don’t be afraid of chemo. Listen to your doctor because things are always changing and they can help you determine the newest treatments available for your type of cancer. With two young kids, I feel it is my responsibility to do everything I can to be okay and be here for them. Being a fairly young person with a cancer typically diagnosed in older men, I am trying to help educate men in their 30s and 40s—making sure that they know prostate cancer is more easily treated the earlier you are screened and know about it. Forget the macho thing—younger and younger men are being diagnosed. There is a simple test that could save your life. Be proactive and get checked out.