When Ron Coleman heard the words “You have breast cancer,” he wasn’t listening to someone talking to his wife or mother or another female relative. The doctor was telling him that he was one of the nearly 2,000 men that would be diagnosed with breast cancer that year.
Fast forward four years and Ron has used his diagnosis to speak to dozens of school and community groups about the realities of men battling breast cancer. While breast cancer in males is rare, in 2010, it was estimated that 1,970 new cases of male breast cancer would be diagnosed.
After Ron’s diagnosis, he was surprised to find very little information and resources available for men fighting breast cancer. Ron wanted to be proactive and share his story about breast cancer with as many people as possible.
“I felt alone and my family and I chose to be proactive and make others aware of my condition because I knew that there had to be others, but maybe they just hadn’t gone public with it,” Ron said. “Well, long story short, I’ve gone public and beyond, and the support and information has been enlightening and positive. I’m very proud to say that I am a four-year plus survivor and as the saying goes, ‘we’ve come a long way baby.’”
To reach as many people as possible, Ron has created a web site, www.coleman4acure.com, and has committed to participating in and fundraising for the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure for the second year in a row.
“I happened to be in downtown Columbus for my daughter Susan’s wedding the morning of the Race in 2009 and knew I had to get involved the following year.”
For Ron’s first Race in 2010, he brought a team of 20 to Columbus and together they raised $2,500. This year he hopes to bring 100 family, friends and colleagues, and intends on raising $10,000.
To reach that goal, Ron and his family members have enlisted the help of local businesses to help spread the word, created posters to hang up around town, and organized raffles to raise funds.
Ron’s three kids are also pitching into help, including his son Kurt who played football for the Ohio State Buckeyes and currently plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“By reaching out on their Twitter and Facebook pages, we’re able to reach a large audience of people we might not normally have reached,” Ron said.
Keep an eye out for Ron and his team on May 14. They’ll be adding to the vibrancy of the event with their support, passion and enthusiasm.
Interested in supporting Ron this year? Register or to donate directly to his team online.